March 02, 2022
Hoarding fear as RATs fly off shelves
The Health Ministry’s Deputy Director-General for Māori health says more than a million rapid antigen tests have been distributed among Māori and iwi organisations as the ministry switches its approach to containing the spread of Covid-19.
Millions of tests have arrived in the country in recent days, but there are fears hoarding by people buying up large from pharmacies could mean those who should use them can’t get them.
John Whaanga says RATs are intended for people who are symptomatic, household contact or essential worker who wants assurance they can go back to work.
The PCR tests were appropriate when the aim was to understand and stamp out every case.
“We are now no longer able to do that but I increasingly hear from people on the ground that the use of RATs tests gives them some confidence to be able to go out and work. I think it’s just people understanding that. That’s what those things are for. They’re not to be used if you’re not symptomatic or you haven’t been asked to by a GP or health provider for instance,” Mr Whaanga says.