Sydney’s Covid-19 testing facilities are “in meltdown” as hundreds of thousands wait for results over the holidays.
NSW recorded almost 6,400 cases of coronavirus on Boxing Day after more than 100,000 people came forward for testing on Christmas Day.
City of Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker wrote on Facebook he’s heard reports “local testing is in meltdown”.
“Hundreds of people waiting in line for several hours with multiple drive-throughs shut,” he wrote.
“Reportedly now Prince of Wales hospital is no longer accepting walk-ins as the line is too long.
“This mess was totally foreseeable. Council allowed these centres to operate 7 days a week and on public holidays for as long as it takes.
“Locals are doing the right thing and are getting tested - they’re missing Christmas.”
Testing numbers in the 24 hours to 8pm on Christmas Day were 40,000 less than the day before.
But testing numbers over the past week have still been in excess of about 140,000 a day.
These asymptomatic people lining up for a diagnostic test, for something they have no symptoms for. Time to stop this #COVID19nsw madness. Video taken at 8am across the road from Central Station, Sydney. #COVID19aus #covidnsw #auspol #nswpol @pwafork @RitaPanahi @sophieelsworth pic.twitter.com/3aEpsWXFoW
— Daniel Orzlowski (@DanOrzlowski) December 26, 2021
Much of this has been blamed on Christmas travel. To be allowed entry into Queensland, travellers need to produce a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Some weary travellers voiced concerns they might not get their test within 72 hours, potentially ruining Christmas travel plans. The Queensland Government is changing this requirement from January 1.
Testing sites have been packed since NSW eased restrictions a little over a week ago.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet last week acknowledged the long wait times for PCR tests in the days leading up to Christmas, with many anxious to get the all clear to safely attend yuletide celebrations, while others need a negative result to travel interstate.
"I know it's been a challenge, I know there are queues, that is unfortunately the way when there's 140,000 tests occurring every single day," he said on Tuesday.
Victoria has also struggled to keep up with the caseload too with some Melbourne facilities also shutting last week due to the sheer volume.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.