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Quebec Liberal leader calls for massive coronavirus testing strategy as schools re-open

The Quebec Liberal opposition is calling for a massive testing strategy in schools. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Questions are once again being asked about the government’s coronavirus testing strategy, particularly its decision not to use more rapid tests.

The Quebec government said the rapid tests are less effective than the regular tests. It also said it doesn’t need them. Public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda said the province’s capacity remains the same, but fewer people are choosing to get tested.

Read more: No rapid COVID-19 testing for schools — Quebec judge rejects teachers’ union injunction request

He added that no one should hesitate to get tested if they fear they’ve come into contact with the virus.

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However, the leader of the official Opposition, Dominique Anglade, is calling for systematic testing in schools and workplaces that need to remain open during this most recent lockdown. She said the curfew alone will not be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Anglade said a massive testing strategy will allow officials to detect outbreaks sooner and also identify where there may be a number of asymptomatic carriers.

Read more: Montreal family who received curfew tickets argue they should’ve been considered exceptions

“What are we proactively doing? I think it is really time that we start testing people on a regular basis, massive testing in some areas where we know it’s very contagious and we have a number of issues,” Anglade said.

However, the government said that like most provinces it’s decided against using the rapid tests because they are not as reliable.

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