Coronavirus: Testing backlog linked to shortage of essential chemicals

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.

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