Government-redirected RAT inspection claims “categorically untrue”: PM

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the allegations that the Commonwealth was calling for a rapid antigen test (RAT) were “resolutely untrue,” and the government “never did” to vulnerable Australians. Said that inspection was prioritized.

The Prime Minister’s comments come after suppliers Werko, Star Hygiene and HiCraft. Accused When the federal government arrived in Australia, it diverted RAT supplies and intercepted orders for retailers.

So far, no supplier has been able to provide evidence to support the claim, even one supplier. Withdraw previous allegations After being investigated.

Morrison said at a national cabinet press conference Thursday that the federal government had reported “false claims” to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) through the Ministry of Health. “The sector never wants to have an edge over other commercial and retail companies,” he emphasized.

“We deal directly with suppliers like state and territorial governments and, like wholesalers and others who procure supplies in the private market, make commercial arrangements with suppliers,” he said. Told.

“Therefore, we are aware that the market has supply constraints, but we expect supply to normalize in the coming weeks.”

The Prime Minister added that government-ordered RAT tests are given to medical and elderly care workers, people with symptomatic or close contact, and vulnerable individuals, especially those in indigenous communities.

His opinion was reflected in Health Minister Greg Hunt, who said some companies had “too much promised” to supply RAT to federal and state governments, as well as community and private buyers.

Meanwhile, RAT supplies are expected to remain fluctuating until February, and the ACCC states that it has received more than 1,800 reports of price cuts by retailers.

Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler sought transparency regarding the supply of RAT.

“I’m very confused about what’s happening with the supply of rapid inspections right now,” he said.

“The result is a situation similar to the Hunger Games in Australia. This is this kind of clash between state governments, the private sector and the federal government, and Australians pay the price.”

South Australia’s Prime Minister Stephen Marshall announced on Wednesday that he had asked ACCC, a national consumer monitoring agency, to investigate whether the RAT was directed to the New South Wales and Victorian governments.

“If these claims are correct, they are likely to be illegal and anti-competitive, and of course, they are a great stimulus to South Australia’s guts,” Marshall said. “It would be ridiculous if they (tested) were done by another state.”

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based Vietnamese reporter with a focus on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]