Worldwide shortage of RAT tests, Victoria says

Victorian Acting Premier Jacinta Allan has defended the state’s long PCR testing wait times and rapid test shortages.

“There is no doubt cases have grown quickly … and that has placed pressure on the pathology systems,” she says.

“That is why we have worked very hard to secure those rapid antigen tests [referring to 34 million tests acquired by the state government] and they will be deployed in coming days.”

She commits to the tests being “free and available to the Victorians who need those tests”.

“I would say we have responded, we have put additional resources into our hospitals … and there has been that additional order placed before Christmas,” she says.

“And the Victorian government had to step up to the plate and do that in the absence of a national approach.”

She says every state and territory in Australia – and “most jurisdictions in the world” – are chasing available rapid tests.

Jeroen Weimar, the state’s COVID-19 response commander, said the average wait time on Monday for a PCR test was 70 to 80 minutes.

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