Government of Canada signs new agreement for COVID-19 rapid tests

News release

October 6, 2020 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is protecting the health and safety of all Canadians, while moving quickly to have access to a safe and sustainable economic recovery. This includes taking steps so Canadians can quickly and easily access COVID-19 testing.

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, today announced that the Government of Canada has signed a new agreement with Abbott Rapid Diagnostics to purchase up to 20.5 million Panbio COVID-19 Antigen rapid tests. Health Canada has authorized this test for use in Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada will deploy these tests to provinces and territories to support them in ramping up COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 testing technologies are advancing as the pandemic continues. On behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to pursue additional agreements to secure access to the most promising candidates.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada continues to move quickly to ensure that Canadians have access to the most effective and efficient COVID-19 testing solutions. This new agreement with Abbott Rapid Diagnostics adds to our growing roster of rapid tests, which will support our healthcare professionals in targeting and responding to new outbreaks of the virus.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Testing is a key pillar of Canada’s response to COVID-19 and that’s why Health Canada has prioritized the review of all types of COVID-19 tests. These antigens tests will have a role to play in avoiding large cluster outbreaks, when results are needed quickly to avoid further spread of the virus.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are working together to purchase and deploy COVID-19 rapid tests.

  • The Panbio COVID-19 Antigen rapid test is the first antigen rapid test authorized by Health Canada.

  • Antigen testing is one of several emerging technologies that can be used to determine if a person is infected with the COVID-19 virus. The test works by detecting specific proteins associated with the virus.

  • To date, the Government of Canada has signed agreements with the following companies for COVID-19 rapid tests authorized by Health Canada:

    • Abbott Rapid Diagnostics ULC will supply up to 7.9 million ID NOW rapid tests, and up to 20.5 million Panbio COVID-19 Antigen rapid tests.
    • Biomérieux Canada will supply up to 699,750 RP2.1 Diagnostic test kits.
    • Inter Medico will supply up to 1.2 million GeneXpert rapid tests.

Associated links

Contacts

Cecely Roy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Anita Anand
343-549-7293
cecely.roy@canada.ca

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada
819-420-5501
media@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca

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