Canada needs to increase testing capacity before life can return to normal: PM

 

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada needs a much greater capacity to test for the novel coronavirus before life can return to normal.

The federal government and public health officials say Canada should not let up on physical distancing measures -- or fully reopen the economy -- until the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

The prime minister says health authorities need to be able to detect and stamp out new outbreaks before that can happen -- and that will mean widespread testing for the virus.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says health authorities are working every day to increase the country's capacity to test as many people as possible.

Currently each province sets its own standards for who should or should not be tested, with most focusing on high-risk settings like hospitals and long-term care homes.

The government is looking at ways to produce more test supplies domestically, and approve new rapid test kits that would be key to monitoring outbreaks in remote communities.

The Canadian Press

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