Screening Tests | Labs fear supply problems

A staggering number of COVID-19 screening trials have been carried out in Quebec over the past two weeks, weakening the reserves and other fluids needed for analysis.

Leila Dussault

Leila Dussault

On December 22 alone, 64,496 tests were performed in Quebec. However, the screening capacity of the province is 50,000 tests per day. The number of trials during the holidays also exceeded that number.

Robert Maranda, media liaison manager for the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), agrees that “the current situation shows that modeling and analytical skills are significantly higher in many parts of Quebec.”

Photo by David Boyle, Press Archives

Queue at the Govit-19 Screening Center at CLSC de Parc-Extension on December 21st

However, the presence of various fluids, reactions, etc. required for the analysis of the tests may indicate a problem, alerting the alliance of professional and technical personnel in the health and social services. The union represents more than 5,400 members of analytical laboratories in the province.

Two of them, who came from different areas, agreed to meet Press. They demanded anonymity as they had no right to speak publicly about the matter.

“We’re playing on the reactions we have, but we don’t have a month to go until the coming weeks,” one of them said. In his lab, while waiting for the order, the reactants were left on the same day, he said.

Other missing items

In another laboratory, it was found that the transport medium, i.e., the fluid in the test tubes, was missing: the responsible company could no longer meet the requirement.

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“Currently, the supply of reactors is not a big issue, but there is a problem with the supply of PCR media collection pipes,” confirmed Robert Maranda from MSSS.

These tubes are especially used in Roche Copus automation equipment which is widely used by many laboratories.

The MSSS said the situation was affecting Montreal, Capitol-National, Estre and parts of the northern crown of Montreal.

“A number of measures have already been taken to avoid shortages,” he said. Maranda. Other collection pipes and transport media [liquide dans le tube] For example, can be used, especially salt and molecular water. ”

However, the staff situation of a laboratory that uses this equipment is worrying. “We have a plan B, which is to use another mode of transport, which means we have to do more manipulation,” he says. But it does not reduce the virus, so we are more likely to infect ourselves. The more pollution, the more techniques, i.e. more delays. ”

11.2 million quick tests were delivered in December

Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos confirmed on Twitter on Thursday that the federal government had “delivered 11.2 million rapid tests in Quebec in December alone”. Quebec needs 10 million ”. In an email, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) stated that the Quebec government “depends on the supplies of the federal government.” “However, we confirm that MSSS is currently considering various options for obtaining rapid tests to expedite their distribution to the population,” said Robert Maranda, MSSS’s Public Relations Officer. “Millions of additional tests will continue in the next few weeks,” Minister Douglas tweeted.

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