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Question: COVID-19 Testing Regime

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:19): I seek leave to make a very brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing on the topic of the COVID-19 testing regime.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I have asked the minister previously in this place what is the false negative and false positive rate of the current COVID test and the COVID test that we have used over time. My question to the minister is: what are they?

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:19): I thank the honourable member for her question. My understanding is I took those questions on notice.

The Hon. T.A. Franks: I have not got an answer yet, and I haven't got an answer from the committee either.

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. S.G. WADE: My understanding is that an answer is near completion for me to provide the honourable member. I hope to do so in the next day or so. I do stress that it is important for us to be aware of the reliability of tests but public health officials will use tests from time to time that are not 100 per cent accurate.

For example, the Victorian regime has decided to use saliva testing. My understanding is that saliva testing provides—and it is my understanding, and I must admit I am a politician not a clinician—but my understanding is that saliva testing produces false tests in about 15 per cent of cases. In certain circumstances, you still may want to use that one. For example, if you are taking a test from a child or perhaps somebody with a disability where you don't want such an intrusive measure.

But I assure the honourable member, the answer is not far away and I will certainly make it one of my goals to have it with you in a day or two.

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