First major delivery of RATs

More to come: Essential workers will be prioritised to get the first delivery of a bulk order of RATs. Photo by LUKAS COCH

The first three million of a bulk order of 44 million rapid antigen tests has landed in Victoria.

Workers in sensitive settings and essential workforces will be prioritised by the Victorian Government to receive the RATs as part of the initial roll-out, which started on January 17.

This includes essential workers in the health system, emergency services and disability and aged care services.

Prioritising health care workers will help key staff return to work and further protect the people in their care through regular screening.

Victorians who may have pre-existing conditions that make them susceptible to severe illness will also be prioritised, ensuring diagnosis and care can be provided as quickly as possible.

“Thanks to our bulk order of tests, Victorians will soon be able to reliably obtain a free RAT,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“As more tests progressively arrive, we’ll continue to roll them out to those who need them.”

More than 60 grassroots community and multi-faith organisations are also distributing free RATs to Victorians in need as part of their existing care and support programs.

The number of free RATs distributed via PCR testing sites has increased daily, with 91,000 distributed on Saturday, January 15, compared with 1900 on day one of the program.

Since the RAT reporting system opened on January 7, 145,580 Victorians have reported a positive result either via the coronavirus website or by phone.

If you test positive on a RAT, you must report your positive result to the Department of Health by visiting or calling 1800 675 398. Dial 0 for translations.

Mr Andrews continued to urge eligible Victorians to get their booster shot.

“As we continue to test, there’s nothing more important than getting your third dose. It will not only give you better protection against COVID-19, but also significantly slow transmission,” he said.