Health

Simon Birmingham defends Australia’s RAT shortage in Omicron Serge

The Morrison government claims that it is still under attack in the face of a lack of rapid antigen testing, but for good reason.

The Morrison government argues that Australia’s lack of rapid antigen Covid testing was due to planning Delta rather than Omicron variants of the virus.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham will strengthen the workforce in the coming weeks, and Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has told the government that variants require a change from PCR testing to rapid antigen testing and that there is not enough testing. I emphasized that I don’t know. To meet the demand.

Omicron variants are reportedly potentially depriving the workforce of 10 percent in the coming weeks.

Senator Birmingham told ABC Radio that they were responding to health advice on Delta stocks when the government was planning to reopen Australia.

He told Delta that he “strongly wants to continue using PCR tests as much as possible,” but the government has obtained a rapid antigen test for use in “critical areas” such as elderly care. ..

Senator Birmingham was asked if the government wasn’t well prepared, and in the “game changer” where these tests “much more than modeled” are now being sought, not only in Australia but around the world. Said there was.

Rapid antigen testing was approved for use in Australia last September and began on November 1.

The Morrison government has urgently ordered a $ 62 million worth of rapid antigen testing this week. A move attacked by the opposition.

Senator Birmingham said the government did not ignore health advice.

“If we could all predict what the Omicron variant would look like, of course we would have prepared for it in different ways,” he said.

“But in the end, we modeled very carefully how to restart for the delta variant. Omicron changed that a lot.

“… I’ve always known that there are different variants than I’ve dealt with before, but I can’t predict exactly what those variants mean when it comes to the impact of those variants. “

The daily number of cases in Australia currently exceeds 100,000, but medical experts expect the actual number to be much higher due to the lack of rapid antigen testing and the long queues at the PCR center.

Senator Birmingham said the number of cases did explode more than expected, but the Omicron variant caused only “mild illness.”

“We are dealing with viruses that have less impact on people’s health and are less likely to lead to serious illness or hospitalization … we maintain the second lowest case fatality rate in the OECD,” he said. Said.

at first Simon Birmingham defends Australia’s RAT shortage in Omicron Serge

Simon Birmingham defends Australia’s RAT shortage in Omicron Serge

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