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COVID-19: Trudeau says feds will fund provincial testing, tracing and data-sharing

COVID-19: Trudeau says feds will fund provincial testing, tracing and data-sharing

OTTAWA — The federal authorities will fund provincial efforts to check folks for COVID-19, monitor the contacts of those that take a look at constructive, and assist totally different jurisdictions share information, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced Friday.

The measures are important as a result of COVID-19 stays a critical well being menace and the economic system can’t totally recuperate till Canadians are assured any new outbreaks of the novel coronavirus will be contained, he mentioned.

Federal contact tracers are serving to public well being authorities in Ontario and Trudeau mentioned they’re able to make 1000’s extra calls a day when any province asks.

Statistics Canada has additionally offered 1,700 interviewers who could make 20,000 calls per day to assist with contact-tracing efforts, Trudeau mentioned.

“We need to get in touch with everyone who may have been exposed to the virus to make sure they quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms or get tested,” Trudeau mentioned in his each day briefing Friday.

“These federal resources are available to assist provinces and territories with any surges, or backlogs or challenges they have in contact tracing.”

But to try this, Canada must step up its testing for the virus, he mentioned. Canada nominally has the capability to check 60,000 folks per day for COVID-19, however has been averaging solely about 28,000 exams per day.

The prime minister mentioned the federal government continues to be working to search out out precisely what assist the provinces want most.

The lab capability of 60,000 exams will not be a “magic number” although, warned Canada’s deputy chief public well being officer Dr. Howard Njoo.

He mentioned Canada doesn’t essentially want to make use of the complete capability of its labs to check successfully.

While it’s extra necessary to check the best folks on the proper time so as to catch infections, he mentioned it’s comforting to know Canada has a better capability if there’s a main surge in potential instances.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu mentioned Friday her division has been working with provinces to ensure they’ve the supplies wanted to satisfy their testing objectives, together with swabs, reagents, and folks to do the work.

“We see ourselves as building capacity for all the provinces and territories to test to their fullest need,” she informed the House of Commons committee on authorities operations.

Each province has its personal testing technique, and Ottawa should adapt its help to satisfy their particular person wants, she mentioned.

Provinces additionally want to enhance the best way they share details about the unfold of the virus, Trudeau mentioned.

The federal and provincial governments have been criticized for many years for archaic information techniques that make sharing info tough at the most effective of occasions.

While provinces and territories have co-ordinated with the Public Health Agency of Canada to get quicker entry to case numbers for COVID-19 in the course of the pandemic, detailed epidemiological information continues to be missing.

Njoo mentioned there are discussions about standardizing information assortment throughout areas to make it simpler to share info.

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