Queensland premier’s rigidity over Covid-19 testing of tourists hurts her province and its neighbors, NSW Health Minister said
Queensland’s PCR testing requirement for Covid-19 causes long lines and increased the risks of infection, yet its head stubbornly refuses to switch to self-administered rapid tests, the top NSW official lamented.
Brad Hazzard (NSW Health Minister) accused Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier of Demonstrating “passive aggressive stupidity”Her testing policies. She insisted that domestic travelers wouldn’t be able to switch to PCR testing before next year.
Queensland’s current requirement is that cross-border moves require a positive PCR testing three days before they are due. The policy was implemented amid a boom in holiday travel. This has caused an increase in testing demand that labs are unable to meet.
Proponents claim that rapid tests can be less precise than PCR, however they are more cost-effective and self-administrable, so are better suited for mass testing. Hazzard was a strong supporter of rapid testing and blasted Palaszczuk during an interview with Daily Telegraph.
“It’s time that the PCR test for tourism testing was dropped, preferably today… rapid antigen tests make more sense for people who are crossing the border,”He told the newspaper.
The minister stated that the lack of test capacity in Australia is leading to long waiting lines at Australian hospitals. He also said that the refusal of rapid testing increases infection risk rather than decreasing it.
“This is passive aggressive stupidity from the Queensland Premier at her worst,” Hazzard said. “South Australia has seen the light and someone needs to switch on the lights in the Queensland Premier’s office.”
Because of the lengthy waiting periods, many people might not be able meet this requirement because they are waiting for the test results too late. Meanwhile, Queensland reportedly doesn’t even have enough people to check the status of all arrivals, he added, calling the situation “farcical and frustrating.”
Hazzard stressed the fact that he “never criticized the Queensland Premier”In his capacity of NSW Health Minister, “this one is now beyond being allowed to pass without comments.”
These remarks were in contrast to public statements made by Dominic Perrottet (NSW Premier), who thanked Perrottet for his willingness to switch.
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