“The Government’s announcement today of making rapid antigen testing more widely available is welcome but has come months too late,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“In March in ACT’s COVID 2.0 policy paper and later in our COVID 3.0 policy paper, ACT said the Government should ‘Roll out saliva tests and other rapid tests as screening tests more widely as they become available.’
“That was nine months ago. Instead of preparing for this, the Government inexplicably banned rapid antigen tests from being imported.
“In June I said in Parliament: “The one that ACT has an objection to is the actual ban on point-of-care tests. It's another theme of this Government's response that it has been, again, very fixated on who delivers the service: Ministry of Health good; everybody else bad, out in the cold. That has held us back as a country. It's made our response to COVID-19 less nimble and less efficient.”
“ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden revealed yesterday in Parliament that almost half of all COVID positive people isolating at home have not been issued pulse oximeters, technology that can potentially be lifesaving.
“ACT has been saying all along that the Government needs to be better prepared and make use of technology. While we welcome today’s development, it is as usual far too late.”