Ottawa: The federal government has decided to ban the dispatch of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to provinces as millions of kits are going to expire within a year.

Apart from it, experts believe that these kits, which were considered to be very important tools during the pandemic, have no much significance.

In an email, Health Canada said the federal inventory currently has 90 million rapid tests. Of these, 80,000 are going to expire within six months and 6.5 million are going to expire within a year. They will complete their term in the remaining two years.

Since the start of the pandemic, Ottawa has placed more than 811 million rapid test orders, totaling $5 billion. Of these, 680 million have been given to provinces and territories.

By the end of 2021, the country was gripped by the fourth wave of Covid-19 and all provinces were trying to conduct maximum Covid tests. Hospitals in many provinces were packed with people and rapid antigen tests remained the need of the hour.

Health Canada said the decision to halt the supply of these kits was taken at the end of January in collaboration with provinces and territories. It was also informed that each region still has an additional supply of these kits.

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