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Regions across Canada are ramping up efforts to identify people with COVID-19 but some labs are facing a backlog due to diminishing supplies of essential chemicals needed for tests.

“We all would want more tests,” Canada’s chief public officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday.

The World Health Organization has said expansive testing is the way to curb the pandemic, but global demand has outpaced the supply of reagents _ the specific chemicals needed by laboratories to complete the tests.

The Center for Disease Control in the United States has also said that important reagents are “now are in short supply,” a worry echoed by medical associations around the world.

1:54Lack of COVID-19 testing leading to inaccurate case numbers in Ontario, say experts

Lack of COVID-19 testing leading to inaccurate case numbers in Ontario, say experts

They are all looking for the chemical solutions at the same time and, as a result, some Canadian health authorities and labs are seeking alternative supply chains.

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Nearly 120,000 Canadians have been tested for the novel coronavirus — an average of 10,000 a day.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday linked that province’s huge testing backlog to a lack of reagents. He said health officials were doing everything they could to get more of the chemicals.


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