The beginning of 2022 has been dominated by the rise of the Omicron variant in Australia.
With overwhelming demand to get PCR tests, the COVID-19 testing clinics have struggled to cope. A massive 54 sites shut across Victoria today to deal with a backlog of testing; 28 sites in NSW were also forced to close; people in Queensland are still facing tough wait times of seen hours to get tested.
That’s left many Australians desperate to get their hands on rapid antigen tests which are fast becoming like gold dust. Thanks should be given, then, to Matt Hayward from software agency PipeLabs, who’s developed an extremely handy new website called Find a RAT.
It offers updated information on which places in local areas still have rapid antigen tests in stock, while also confirming which chemists and supermarkets have none left. People have been travelling far and wide in an attempt to find just one rapid antigen test, which means this website is very useful right now.
The website’s data relies on crowdsourced date from user reports, with people able to mark a store green for ‘in stock’, orange for ‘low stock’, or red for ‘no stock’. People can search via postcode to find local places with RAT availability.
The launch of the website will only fuel the intense political split regarding rapid antigen tests though. Opposition to PM Scott Morrison has been vocal in saying that tests should be much more widely available and free for Australians.
The Prime Minister has stated he won’t undercut businesses by making them free, insisting people must pay for their own tests. “We’re now at a stage of the pandemic where you can’t just make everything free, because when someone tells you they want to make something free, someone’s always going to pay for it and it will be you,” he said.
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