Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Testing Expert Group Slams Government Response

The Government’s own independent technical advisors on testing have slammed the Government’s inaction on using saliva testing and rapid antigen testing, says National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“In September last year the Simpson/Roche report called on the Government to roll out saliva testing as a priority, but now, more than a year later, it is only just getting going and Rako Science’s efforts to partner with the Government for surge capacity surveillance testing have been rebuffed.

“Rapid antigen testing has been effectively banned in New Zealand by Government fiat, with a trial only recently starting at hospitals in Auckland.

“The Government’s inaction on using different testing techniques has been disgraceful and this has been confirmed by the government’s independent technical advisory group on testing.

“Professor David Murdoch said explicitly today that New Zealand ‘could have been better prepared’ for using new and different tests like saliva tests and rapid antigen tests.

“It is good to see the Government belatedly moving on saliva and rapid antigen testing. National’s ‘Opening Up’ plan contains detailed recommendations for the use of saliva and rapid testing and we encourage the Government to pick them up immediately.

“Saliva PCR testing should be rolled out daily for border workers, for residents in MIQ facilities, and for surge capacity resource in an outbreak like we are seeing right now. Saliva testing is being used at private hospitals in Auckland right now and we should be doing the same in public hospitals.

“We had the capacity to do thousands of saliva tests during this most recent outbreak and yet the government said no. All this at a time when people lined up for 10-12 hours at a time and many people gave up altogether.

“Rapid antigen testing should be being used for all essential workers including healthcare workers, aged care support staff, supply chain (transportation, ports and airports), emergency first responders, and high-risk customer-facing roles such as in supermarkets, schools and universities.

“Recently, a truck driver tested positive for Covid after visiting Palmerston North. He was tested on October 1 and before that on September 24. He is considered to have been infectious since September 28. If he was required to do a daily rapid antigen test, there was a good chance he would have been picked up earlier than he was. This is a perfect demonstration of where rapid antigen tests can help with our response.

“The Government’s belated activity in this area is good news but has come way too late for New Zealanders suffering through this extended lockdown.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits


In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders


Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>

ALSO:





 
 


Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>

ALSO:


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels