COVID-19 rapid and portable test kits approved for use

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Health Canada has approved new technology from an Ottawa-based company that aims to increase the country’s COVID-19 testing capacity.

Spartan Bioscience was one of the companies to receive federal funding announced in mid-March to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

It has gone from manufacturing portable DNA test kits to working on a similar cube-shaped portable device that could perform rapid tests for the new coronavirus outside of laboratories in environments such as airports, posts border and remote communities.

Last month, company CEO Paul Lem said the tests would involve two mouth pads plugged into the cup-sized cube, which would light up if germs were detected.

Based in Ottawa, Spartan Bioscience is working with the federal government to develop a rapid test method for COVID-19. Company founder and CEO Paul Lem spoke to CBC News. 1:03

The company announced Monday that it has federal government approval to begin shipping its kits.

“There is an urgent and unmet need for rapid COVID-19 testing, and as a proud Canadian company, we are delighted that our technology is an important part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada,” said he said in a statement. .

Health officials across Canada have conducted targeted rather than widespread testing for COVID-19 due to a general shortage of test equipment and people trained to do so.

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