Manitoba can’t order rapid COVID-19 tests due to government ban, says province

By | October 2, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government said it is unable to order a rapid test for COVID-19 due to a ban put in place by the federal government.

Central Services Minister Reg Helwer made the announcement at a news conference on Friday. He said within 24 hours of Health Canada approving the Abbott ID NOW rapid test, the province attempted to place an order with Abbott.

But, Helwer said Manitoba health officials were informed the Government of Canada is blocking the sale of this test directly to provincial and territorial governments.

“This is a completely unacceptable action by the federal government,” Helwer said.

The minister noted Ottawa has secured its own supply of the tests, and the federal government said it will decide how the supply will be allocated across Canada.

This is a developing story, more details to come.

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