The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Rapid testing call


Rapid testing for COVID-19 spearheads a push from Member for Lowan Emma Kealy to prevent Victorians continuing to plunge into statewide lockdowns.

Ms Kealy has implored the State Government to introduce ‘point-of-care’ tests – some of which can provide results in 10 minutes – at high-risk locations.

She said a roll out of the system would quickly identify anyone with COVID-19.

Ms Kealy said the Therapeuti­c Goods Associatio­n had approved dozens of rapid antigen tests which, if used at locations such as border checkpoint­s, could stop the virus in its tracks.

“Rapid testing offers huge time and cost savings, but if deployed at border checkpoint­s it also adds a significan­t layer of defence against this virus,” she said.

“If the removalist­s who had travelled from a hotspot in NSW had been tested at the border, authoritie­s would have known they were infectious and could have stopped them entering the state before they inadverten­tly infected others. With point-of-care testing in place at the border, it’s highly likely this lockdown would have been prevented.”

Ms Kealy said rapid antigen tests were proven to work best during early stages of infection, when viral load was at its highest.

She said the tests should be an obvious part of the government’s plan to help get Victorians back to some normality and away from crushing lockdowns.

“Lockdowns should only ever be used as a last resort, but unless the government changes its approach – including rolling out point-of-care testing instead of relying on PCR tests, which can take hours to yield a result – Victorians will continue to suffer,” she said.

“Rapid testing is a valuable tool that is available right now and it is crucial the Andrews government acts to protect the people of Victoria from future lockdowns.”

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