February 23, 2022
RATs way to go in South Auckland
The Health Ministry’s deputy Director-General Māori says Rapid Antigen Tests are helping ease the pressure on staff in the Counties Manukau area where the fastest growth in Covid cases is happening.
John Whaanga says RATs have been used in the South Auckland community testing centres since the start of the week.
He says the rapid increase in Omicron cases, and the pressure on laboratories trying to process close to 30,000 tests a day, means it’s time to switch.
“Our strategy has been to stamp it out, to keep it out. Now that we are seeing cases emerge around the country, particularly cases we aren’t able to source, things like RATS become much more effective in that situation and we will be utilising both RATs and continuing to use some of the PCR testings as well to make sure in particular cases that we follow through on a good diagnosis,” Mr Whaanga says.
There are a record 3297 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today – more than half in Auckland.
There are 179 people in hospital, including 68 in Middlemore, 58 in Auckland and 33 in North Shore.