Covid case numbers across Australia are set to skyrocket on Thursday as multiple states mandate self-reporting of rapid antigen tests.
In NSW, residents must now report positive tests – or be slugged with a $1000 fine – and within just hours of the new system going live on Wednesday, nearly 60,000 told the government they tested positive to the virus.
Those who call South Australia home will soon be forced to report any positive Covid infections detected through the rapid tests, while Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have already introduced mandatory reporting for positive rapid tests.
In the ACT, a RAT reporting system is expected to be launched within days, with Western Australia bucking the trend by continuing to encourage PCR testing.
NSW Customer Services Minister Victor Dominello confirmed on 2GB radio that close to 60,000 positive Covid-19 results from rapid antigen tests were registered in the Service NSW app dating back to January 1 soon after the system went online at 9am.
Covid case numbers across Australia are set to skyrocket on Thursday as multiple states mandate self-reporting of rapid antigen tests (stock image)
In NSW, residents must now report positive Covid-19 tests – or be slugged with a $1000 fine (pictured, members of the public waiting to be tested in Sydney)
Other states such as Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have already introduced mandatory reporting for positive rapid tests (pictured, residents donning face masks in Sydney)
It followed a record 34,759 new cases and 21 deaths across the state from figures released on Wednesday morning, making the deadliest days of the pandemic to date.
Seven of these deaths were not recent, and had been included after the result of coronial inquests.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said he expected NSW residents to ‘do the right thing’ and upload their results.
He added there will be a ‘grace period’ for fines, with the hefty $1000 penalties kicking in after seven days.
‘For those people that don’t have a Service NSW app, you can also go to the Service NSW website, and access the form there,’ Mr Dominello said.
‘Alternatively, you can go and call Service NSW and they will provide assistance.’
When asked why the government took so long to create their own testing system compared to other states, Mr Dominello said it was because the NSW system was more complex.
‘Most other places simply have a web form. We are connecting it to the app because once we connect it to that app, we can then connect you healthcare services as well, and that’s the key feature of what we are doing here in NSW,’ he said.
‘We are basically stratifying those who have Covid into two categories. Those with low risk and those with high risk.’
Residents aged 16 and older must log any positive at-home tests they have taken within 24 hours via the ServiceNSW app or website, in a process Mr Perrottet said is ‘seamless’.
Mr Perrottet added PCR and RATs will both have a role in achieving good testing coverage, particularly as NSW struggles with RAT supply.
‘The new policy will make PCR lines and turnarounds shorter, he said.
Labor leader Chris Minns said many NSW residents were unable to find the rapid antigen tests to confirm if they have Covid (pictured on Wednesday)
Opposition Leader Chris Minns, who has called on rapid antigen tests to be free, on Wednesday said many people still can’t get their hands on the testing kits.
‘I think millions of families in the state at the moment would be saying, ‘Forget about the fine, where’s the test?” he said.
‘This is a fundamental failure of the NSW government. It’s the minimum responsibility of the government of the day to be able to tell the people in NSW whether they’ve got the disease or not.’
In Victoria, Covid statistics were equally damning, with 40,127 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths.
Hospitalisations also rose to to 946 patients, with 112 in ICU.
RULES AROUND REPORTING POSITIVE RAPID TESTS
Those who test positive on a rapid antigen test must report their results via the Service NSW app
Fines of $1,000 will apply to those who don’t with penalties coming into force from January 19
Positive results from January 1 can be reported with anyone testing positive as of Wednesday January 12 required to report it on the app
Positive results must be lodged within 24 hours of the test
People who don’t have the app can lodge their results through the Service NSW website
Interstate travellers can log on as a guest
Those who register their positive result will receive a notification from NSW Health when their seven-day isolation is up
How to do it :
NSW residents can open the Service NSW app and click on Covid-19 Resources
They then select ‘Register a positive test result’
They will be taken to another site where they fill in their personal details and log their results
Source: DailyMail AU