“The revelation that saliva testing at dual use MIQ
facilities has resulted in just 140 tests, or six tests a
day since starting almost a month ago is disappointing,”
says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Saliva testing was
announced by COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins on 22
January as the Government’s ‘precautionary
measure in response to higher rates of infection overseas
and the more transmissible variants of
“But it’s not doing what the
Minister sold it as.
“Unfortunately the Government
doesn’t appear to have learned much in the six months
since it became clear two thirds of border workers hadn’t
been tested for COVID-19.
“Auckland was plunged into
lockdown off the back of that environment.
we’re in a third lockdown and the measure Chris Hipkins
described as ‘another layer of assurance’ – saliva
testing – is little more than an exercise in futility at
six tests a day.
“Rather than do what the
Simpson-Roche review told them to do in September, and what
dozens of other countries have done since even earlier last
year, this Government keeps finding excuses not to evolve
and improve to meet COVID-19 as it evolves.
would the Prime Minister, who said last August that ‘even
a weekly testing regime is not fool proof,’ now be
defending a failure to roll out less-invasive but effective
testing that can be delivered daily?
“Other countries, including Australia,
are doing both – regular nasopharyngeal testing and daily
“New Zealand must adopt a culture of
continuous improvement and embrace technologies that can
help us avoid