INDEPENDENT NEWS

Broad Testing Criteria Vital To Containing The Spread

Published: Fri 20 Mar 2020 02:32 PM
Not enough New Zealanders are being tested for Covid-19 and the Government needs to get on top of it, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.
“With Australia reporting global shortages, the Minister needs to provide assurances to New Zealanders that we have sufficient testing supplies. Right now, they don’t even know how many they have.
“The public need to know how many days of testing at 1500 tests a day we can do. It’s not good enough that the Minister of Health can’t answer that question.
“For weeks it has been too hard to get tested. You have to go on Healthline for hours, are then told to contact a doctor and you need to have both symptoms and close contact to meet the criteria.
“If you need to self-isolate – you need to be tested.
“South Korea has shown how testing can get this virus under control and the World Health Organisation is saying ‘test, test, test’. Getting New Zealanders tested is the most important job the Minister has right now.
“Daily testing updates should also be provided alongside the case announcements to provide reassurance to Kiwis.
“National has been calling for more action in relation to testing for some time, it is long overdue for the Government to step up their regime by broadening the criteria.
“The criteria was widened to test the students at Logan Park High School earlier this week. This needs to be the new normal and the criteria should be broadened for everyone who needs to go into self-isolation.
“If we’re getting people tested sooner rather than later they can shorten the self-isolation period and enter back into the workforce.
“No expense should be spared in the fight against coronavirus. The Government must ensure all Kiwis are tested if they have symptoms.”

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