Monday 2 May 2022

The testing ration has been increased!

Oh wow! The government is trialling an innovative new Covid testing system at the border! Just look at these news stories!

Here's Richard Harmon at Politik:


The Government is partnering with Air New Zealand to trial an innovative new COVID-19 testing solution that uses Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technology, Associate Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced yesterday. “As New Zealand reconnects with the world, we are exploring innovative COVID-19 testing technology to help keep people safe and minimise disruption as we welcome new visitors,” said Dr Ayesha Verrall.

“We are constantly monitoring the latest scientific advancements to maintain our successful COVID-19 response. Our Government is partnering with Air New Zealand to trial the ‘Lucia Check-It’ test kits. Using LAMP technology, the test has the potential to combine the speed of rapid antigen tests (RATs) with the accuracy of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Here's The Spinoff's daily update:

Air NZ and the government also launched a trial of a new covid-19 test that could be used for border staff and international visitors. Known as a LAMP test, it combines the speed of RATs (rapid antigen tests) with the accuracy of PCR testing.

New! Surely that means that the ever-benevolent, ever-wise New Zealand Government is right at the cutting edge of covid testing technology, as it always has been. 

The test received FDA EUA in April 2021, over a year ago. We could have required it as condition of boarding flights to NZ for ages. The cost of the test could have sheeted back to travellers. The government then could have monitored whether this kind of serious test-to-travel requirement might have enabled shortened MIQ, home isolation with requirements to take a couple more LAMP tests along the way, or some mix of the two (MIQ for a few days, negative saliva PCR to exit, requirement to check in with a negative LAMP result 2-3 days later, just to be sure). Sir Ian Taylor argued, vocally, for this kind of thing.

But really the chocolate ration has been increased. All praise our benevolent masters. 

At least the RNZ interview this morning with Terry Taylor noted that the thing's been available for ages. 

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