Rapid COVID-19 test set to be used in Alberta recalled
EDMONTON -- A rapid test for COVID-19 set to be used in Alberta is being recalled after Health Canada expressed concern about its effectiveness.
Spartan Bioscience said Sunday that the concerns centre around the proprietary swab used in the test, but the Health Canada report out Friday did not raise concerns about the accuracy of the test reagents and portable analyzer device.
The Ottawa-based biotech company issued the recall voluntarily.
The company said it would recall the 5,500 test shipped nationally and work on additional clinical studies to assess the sampling method and swab.
In March Alberta spent $9.5 million to bring 250 Spartan Cubes and 100,000 testing kits to the province.
The devices could confirm COVID-19 test results in under an hour, Alberta Health Services said.
AHS had previously said the device would be sent to rural and remote communities across the province, effectively eliminating the need to send lab samples from remote areas to the nearest lab.
Ontario had also ordered 900,000 testing kits from the company.
The federal government announced it had approved the hand-held DNA analyzer on April 13.
As of Saturday there were 3,136 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, with 94 deaths.
With files from The Canadian Press