Doug Ford defends approach to COVID-19 rapid test distribution – .

Doug Ford defends approach to COVID-19 rapid test distribution – .

Premier Doug Ford has championed Ontario’s approach to distributing COVID-19 rapid tests amid growing calls to make them more widely available as cases increase and the new Omicron variant spreads.

“No one gives out more tests than us. In fact, we perform 57% of all rapid tests nationwide. So we’re handing out more tests than each province and territory combined, ”Ford said in an announcement in Peterborough on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the province’s health minister said Ontario currently has 5.75 million rapid antigen tests in its inventory and as of Nov. 29, 33.35 million have been distributed.

For comparison, British Columbia received 3.2 million tests and deployed 1.17 million and in Quebec, 11.7 million tests were received and 5.71 million were distributed, according to federal data.

“We give about a million tests every week,” Ford said. “These are staggering numbers. “

However, opposition leaders and health experts say the province’s approach to distributing rapid tests does not go far enough.

“We should make rapid tests free now and distribute as many as possible,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

“This is part of the action plan Ontario needs to prevent another wave of COVID. Let people take a quick test before visiting loved ones. Encourage people to take a quick test at the first sign of a cold. “

Currently, rapid tests are offered free of charge to businesses and some pharmacies. People who have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case may also have access to a test.

In some schools with high COVID-19 rates, students who are symptomatic or considered close contact have access to rapid tests. The government said it plans to distribute five rapid tests to every student in the province before the December break.

“From a scientific point of view, it makes sense to use rapid tests more frequently, for example in schools, workplaces, gathering places, and to make rapid tests more available in this province. ”, Dr. Peter Juni, Scientific Director of COVID Ontario. -19 Scientific Advisory Table, CP24 said Tuesday.

The scientific panel is expected to release new rapid testing recommendations on Wednesday.


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