A staggering number of COVID-19 screening tests have been performed in Quebec over the past two weeks, weakening the factors needed for analysis and other fluid reserves.
On December 22, a record 64,496 tests were conducted in Quebec. However, the screening capacity of the province is 50,000 tests per day. The number of exams during the holidays exceeded that number.
Robert Maranda, media relations manager for the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), agreed that “the current situation shows that the design and analysis capabilities in many parts of Quebec have been significantly exceeded.”
However, the storage of various fluids and reagents required for test analysis may indicate a problem, alerting the professional and technical staff alliance in health and social services. The union represents more than 5,400 analytical laboratory members in the province.
Two of whom came from different places and agreed to meet Press. They requested the agnostic that they have no right to speak publicly on the matter.
“We’ll play on the factors we have, but we don’t have a month in advance to overcome the coming weeks,” one of them said. In his laboratory, he said, there was only one day left of reagents waiting for the order.
Other missing items
In another laboratory, it was the transport medium, i.e. the fluid in the test tubes was missing: the responsible company could no longer meet the demand.
“Currently, the supply of reagents is not a big issue. But there is a problem with the supply of PCR media collection tubes, ”confirmed Robert Maranda from MSSS.
These tubes are especially used in Roche Cobas automated equipment, which is widely used by many laboratories.
This condition affects the Montreal, Capitol-National, Estri and northern crown regions of Montreal, according to the MSSS.
“Several steps have already been taken to see that no deficit is seen,” Mr Maranda said. Other collection tubes and transport media [liquide dans le tube] For example, can be used, especially saline and molecular water. ”
The situation is of concern, however, to the employee of the laboratory who uses this device. “We have Plan B, which means using another mode of transport we need to do more handling,” she says. But it does not atone for the virus, so we are more likely to infect ourselves. And more pollution, more methods, i.e. more delay. ”
11.2 million speed tests were delivered in December
Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Thursday confirmed on Twitter that the federal government had “delivered 11.2 million rapid tests in Quebec in December alone. The Quebec demand was 10 million. “However, we confirm that MSSS is currently considering various options to obtain rapid testing to accelerate their distribution to the population,” said Robert Maranda, MSSS Public Relations Officer.