National shortage of RAT tests called ‘hot mess’

As Australians struggle to get their hands on rapid antigen tests, one MP has described the current situation as a “hot mess”.

With many states changing their testing rules to reduce PCR testing, home testing has become increasingly elusive of RAT testing as case numbers continue to soar.

Labor’s Anika Wells described the situation as a “shemozzle”.

“Oh, it’s a real mess,” the Lilley MP told Nine.

“It’s a repeat of the failed vaccine rollout and you would have thought the Morrison government would have learned from this one.”

Camera iconLabor MP Anika Wells called the RAT shorages a “hot mess”. NCA NewsWire/Damian Shaw Credit: News Corp Australia

“We now have information that the federal government has requisitioned supplies ordered by companies because they have been left behind. It’s just a complete shemozzle.

The backbench MP’s comments followed a statement from the Department of Health, which sought to allay concerns that the government had redirected the supply of RAT.

“Widely reported that supplies of rapid antigen test kits are being redirected to the Commonwealth Department of Health are false,” a spokesperson said.

“The Department of Health reaffirms that it has not commandeered all RAT supplies within and entering Australia.”

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Camera iconAustralians are struggling to get their hands on rapid antigen tests. NewsWire/Sarah Marshall Credit: News Corp Australia

Some 70 million federally purchased tests are expected to arrive on Australian shores.

It is not yet known where the tests will be deployed or when they will arrive for use.

On Friday, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham blamed the home testing shortage on the emergence of the Omicron variant.

“If we all could have predicted what the Omicron variant would look like, of course we would have prepared in different ways,” he said.

“But ultimately, we modeled very carefully how we were going to reopen against the Delta variant. Omicron has changed that a lot.

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Camera iconLabor MP Anika Wells delivered a brutal luge on RAT supply shortages. NCA NewsWire/Jono Searle Credit: News Corp Australia

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