Australia PM blames Omicron for scrutiny woes as COVID-19 cases hit downward trend

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said going as regards for Monday the shortages of at-habitat antigen tests were “not unique” to the country as authorities agreement as soon as a truant Omicron outbreak that has driven occurring hospitalization rates and strains investigation systems.

Australia is facing a shortage of at-residence sudden antigen test kits after asymptomatic stuffy links were told to bypass viewpoint-funded scrutiny hubs, where high volumes delayed results by several days, and have the same opinion their own tests.

“The curt antigen tests are in sudden supply everyone around the world. This is not something that is unique to Australia going through it,” Morrison told radio station 2GB regarding Monday. “It’s part of dealing once Omicron. Omicron has disrupted anything.”

The country’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in symbol to Monday, flagged “significant concerns” more or fewer reports of price gouging of scrutiny kits together along with reports of stockpiling and called inflated prices “handily outrageous”.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said there were reports of kits costing even occurring to A$500 ($361) at online retailers, and A$70 per test at stores as soon as they were well-ventilated for re A$10 at pharmacies weeks ago.

Morrison knocked out pressure in an election year for his handling of the Omicron outbreak and not procuring ample supplies of antigen tests, in front this month had certainly to have enough maintenance 10 pardon kits for low-allowance earners.

Doctors and trade unions are demanding to forgive tests for everyone, but Morrison has resisted those calls motto the giving out would not lid the cost, citing a heightened role for “personal responsibility”.

Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus said dozens of unions will meet highly developed on Monday to unlimited “to the failure of the Federal Government to save us safe”. A survey by the Australian Institute on the subject of Monday showed regarding three-quarters of Australians understand they should get pardon antigen tests.

In a bid to ease pressure regarding its investigate hubs, Victoria from Monday began rolling out 3 million antigen tests to frontline workers and the vulnerable population, while many additional states awaited millions of psychiatry kits to be delivered.

After successfully containing the virus earlier in the pandemic, Australia has reported approaching 1.3 million cases beyond the last two weeks, overwhelming hospitals and psychoanalysis clinics.

Daily infections upon Monday dipped in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia’s most populous states, moreover expectations the Omicron confession had neared its intensity the subject of-archives-2022-01-15 in the country. But net auxiliary hospitalizations remain elevated, following more people admitted than at any new times in the pandemic.

Nearly 74,000 cases were reported upon Monday, the country’s lowest report in a week. National daily numbers had touched a scrapbook 150,000 last Thursday but have been steadily falling at the forefront along with.

So far-off-off, Australia has reported 1.6 million infections and 2,699 deaths back the pandemic began.

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