St Vincent’s Hospital Covid PCR testing error has ballooned by another 995 false-negatives.
The human error has led to nearly 1,400 people in New South Wales being told that they were negative for Covid when they were actually positive.
Tests affected were taken between December 23 and 24. An emergency response team continues to investigate the situation.
Meanwhile, structural failings in PCR testing infrastructure has led Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to scrap the requirement for a day five Covid-19 test for interstate travellers.
The state is now looking at moving to Rapid Antigen testing from January 1 dependent on adequate supplies. A negative test 72 hours before entering the state is still necessary.
“The issue has been that some of the private clinics have actually shut down over the Christmas and new year period,” explained Palaszczuk.
Nearly half a million tourists from neighbouring states have poured into Queensland for the holiday period, no doubt inflated by reduced international travel industry and a year of lockdowns. As of December 27, 784 new cases of Covid have been recorded in Queensland from 24,515 tests bringing the total above 3,600.
“We would prefer them [people travelling to Queensland] to have their test done before they board, but in some cases that is not possible and they are able to stay in their locations as long as they isolate,” said the Premier.
Palaszczuk has said that details of how rapid antigen testing would be controlled have not yet been worked out.
Rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as PCR testing, but they are more readily available and can be done by the public without the need of a clinic.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard attacked Palaszczuk for her refusal to scrap a rule requiring interstate visitors to return a negative PCR test before they enter.