The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says we need to implement rapid testing to help Victorians get back on their feet and prevent future statewide lockdowns.
Mr Walsh said rapid antigen tests, which can produce a result in just 15 to 30 minutes, should be rolled out in high-risk settings including border checkpoints and major events to quickly identify infectious individuals.
He said the Victorian Government should be firing every bullet in the public health armoury to prevent future statewide lockdowns.
“Rapid antigen tests are inexpensive and have proven to work best during the early stages of infection; when the viral load is at its highest,” Mr Walsh added.
“While the PCR test can take many hours to process, rapid testing has the potential to turnaround results in just 15 to 30 minutes,” he said.
“Rapid testing is shown to be most effective in high-risk settings, including at national and state borders, helping to quickly identify high-risk individuals and stop COVID in its tracks.
“It is also an innovative solution to ensure major events, both in metropolitan and regional areas, can proceed with little disruption to patron caps.
“Lockdowns should only ever be used as a last resort. There are a lot of other steps government should be putting in place to avoid snap lockdowns like the one we have just endured.
“Businesses and our communities are crying out for a plan. We need a pathway out of constant lockdowns and rapid testing is an obvious part of that plan to get us back to some normality.
“Major events in Europe, such as the G7 last month; have been able to proceed because Europe is using rapid tests. If that’s good enough for the G7, surely it is good enough for us.”