169. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the parliamentary secretary
representing the Minister for Health:
I note with interest that in today's
The West Australian, the Department of Health has published information
about the COVID clinics, including the criteria under which a person should
consider attending for testing. I also note that other countries are testing
thousands of people a day.
(1) What are the provisions for testing for anyone who
meets these criteria, but does not live in the metropolitan area or is
unable to attend one of these metropolitan testing centres?
(2) What is the actual daily testing
capacity; how many people could we test?
(3) Are we in a position
to ramp up the testing to include anyone who has a reasonable suspicion that
they may be at risk, such as those who have recently travelled, but are not
showing symptoms; and, if not —
(a) what factors, if any, place a restraint
on our ability to undertake increased testing; and
(b) when does the minister foresee
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1) The WA Country Health Service reports that any
WACHS hospital or WACHS health facility has capacity to test for
capacity is over 750 tests a day. A second testing facility at Fiona Stanley
Hospital, due to open later this week, will increase statewide capacity.
(3) The current
understanding of the disease is that a person could test negative without
symptoms, but as the incubation period for the disease can be up to two weeks,
that person will still be at risk.
of equipment and solutions for testing, along with personal protective
equipment, can place restraints on increased testing. However, supply is being
monitored and additional resources sought as required.
(b) The disease profile does not
support testing of asymptomatic people.