Concerns COVID-19 cases missing from tally

Concerns have been raised that the level of COVID-19 community transmission could be a lot higher than official numbers show due to the incorrect use of rapid antigen tests. 

The head of Pathology Technology Australia says RATs are particularly accurate during a person’s infectious phase but he remains worried that people aren’t properly administering the tests. 

“This is unsurprising given the public was told for months these tests weren’t accurate enough for Australia, only for them to suddenly become a crucial diagnostic tool,” Dean Whiting said.

“There hasn’t been sufficient time to adequately inform (the public).”

A negative result shouldn’t be interpreted as being COVID-free, the CEO said, with repeat tests needed to ensure accuracy.

Epidemiologist and public health emergency management specialist Henning Liljeqvist often sees people failing to correctly extract samples or apply drops as per the test instructions.

“I think it would be good to address the importance of not eating, drinking, brushing teeth or rinsing mouth before oral swabs also,” he said.

It comes as daily case numbers in Australia had a slight uptick despite appearing to be on a downward trend.

There were almost 48,000 new cases on Tuesday, bucking a four-day consecutive drop in numbers which culminated with 41,806 new infections on Monday.

But there was a significant spike in deaths on Tuesday, with the death toll rising by 40, compared to five on Monday.


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