OTTAWA – Rapid COVID-19 testing devices are on the way to remote and Indigenous communities where access and timely results have been hindered by distance and limited resources, officials said Monday after a new test kit was approved over the weekend.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the hand-held DNA analyzer from Ottawa’s Spartan Bioscience will offer rapid test results for health services in rural and remote areas that otherwise must send their samples to laboratories in larger centres.
Dubbed the Spartan Cube and about the size of a coffee cup, results can be had in less than an hour and do not require the specialized expertise and equipment of a large lab.
Spartan Bioscience said the tests will be rolled out “immediately” but it wasn’t clear how many were ready or where they would first be deployed.
Tam said the number of devices ready for shipment “is constantly being updated.”
“All I can say is we will get everything that this supplier will be able to provide in the coming months,” said Tam.
The Canadian Press