More than half a million Canadians have been tested for COVID-19 so far. But why isn’t that number higher?
The diagnostic test is in short supply because “it requires very specialized personnel, specific types of equipment and reagents which are limited globally,” says Vivek Goel, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives, and a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
In the months ahead, Goel expects to see more testing for antibodies that show exposure to the virus.
“This will be very important for surveillance purposes and will help establish how many people in a community have had the disease and may be immune to it,” Goel says.
COVID-19: What’s Next is a bi-weekly podcast created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
In episode nine, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – explains the difference between diagnostic and serological testing, and the technological advances that could help remote communities, as well as how testing relates to the re-opening of borders.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.