Coronavirus: Dozens of companies on wait-list to distribute test kits in Canada amid shortage

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Every province and territory across Canada is asking for more COVID-19 test kits, but Health Canada has only approved 13 companies so far to import and distribute them — with dozens more on a wait-list, eager to be green-lit.

Health Canada lists a backlog of more than 50 companies waiting for the green light to disseminate their test kits across the country, some of which have been waiting for more than a month.

Other countries, like those in the United Kingdom, have approved the sale of particular brands of test kits within a few days.

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“If we get approval, it’s fantastic. If we don’t, then it’s a bit of a challenge from that perspective,” said Jeff Stevens, CEO of Datametrex AI, which has an agreement with a South Korean manufacturer to sell its tests to Canada and other countries around the globe, including the United States.

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2:04Health Canada approves rapid test kits for COVID-19

He said his company has been on the wait-list for about two weeks, even though his product aligns with what Health Canada has already approved in the form of a nucleic acid detection kit.

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