Tuesday, 17 March 2020

PM must clarify comments on COVID-19 testing

“The Prime Minister’s comments in Parliament this afternoon on COVID-19 testing appear to depart from previously announced testing criteria”, according to ACT leader David Seymour.

To qualify for a test, people need to satisfy a number of criteria: a fever of or above 38 celsius or an acute respiratory infection with one of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, cough or sore throat with or without fever. An individual must also have travelled from a country of concern, or have been in close or casual contact with a suspect, probable, or confirmed case within the past 14 days.

“However, in her speech on the Government’s emergency economic package this afternoon, the Prime Minister said:

‘To medical practitioners: if you want to test, test. The capacity is there.’

“Is the Prime Minister now saying that there are no longer any restrictions on testing for COVID-19?

“If so, that is welcome news. If not, she should immediately clarify her comments.”