An order of 200 000 screening tests on the ice

Une commande de 200 000 tests de dépistage sur la glace

Photo: Agence France-Presse
The ministry of Health of Quebec has ordered for 200 000 testing from the canadian company Spartan Bioscience at a cost of $ 16 million.

Health Canada raises doubts about the effectiveness of a rapid hiv test kit of the COVID-19, developed by a canadian company with which the Quebec government has ordered 200,000 of these tests.

Spartan Bioscience announced on Sunday the staging of these new devices, which had been approved on an interim basis by Health Canada on the 13th of April last. The biotechnology company, based in Ottawa, emphasizes that it is the efficiency of collection of the sample for which the federal ministry of Health of doubt and not of analysis by the portable device named the ” cube “.

Until additional studies prove to be conclusive, the kit can continue to be used for research purposes only — and not for diagnoses.

The ministry of Health of Quebec confirms having placed an order for 200 000 tests and 100 machines “cubes” with Spartan, a value of $ 16 million. A part of this order should reach him by 31 may, we are told, but the government relied not on this source to implement their screening, ” solid “, announced this week.

“In the case where the device does not receive the certification required, the order will be cancelled by virtue of a clause to this effect “, one can read in a forwarded email to The canadian Press by the communications services of the ministry of Health of Quebec.

During the press conference on Friday, the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda, had announced that the capacity of screening in Quebec would increase from 6000 to 14 000 tests per day, in view of the déconfinement.

Federal health authorities say they also that this complication does not change the ability of screening being considered across Canada, as their target of 60 000 daily tests is based on the resources already at their disposal.

The head administrator chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, explained that it was to be expected of such unforeseen at the time the development and approval of new solutions in the face of the new pandemic, should be done at speed large V.

The tests designed by Spartan had performed well in the laboratory, but the q-tips have presented problems when the studies are continued in a clinical context, such as on the ground.

According to the data of the enterprise, only 5500 tests had been shipped up to the present, including 560 in Quebec, for validation with the health agencies.

“There has been no use of this test kit which could affect the results of diagnosis of patients,” says dr. Tam.

This setback affects mainly remote and rural communities, she said, because the idea behind the “cube” of Spartan was to analyze samples in less than 30 minutes, without having to send to the lab closest to you.

This specimen transportation can be a logistical challenge of size in the more remote areas, in addition to slow down the screening efforts.

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