Control freakery & ‘consolidation’

The government’s control freakery led it to ban the importation of rapid antigen test kits and now that some businesses can import them the government is ‘consolidating’ supplies:

The Government says it is not requisitioning stocks of rapid antigen tests (RATS), it is only “consolidating” orders of tests heading into the country, but at least one distributor of the tests isn’t so sure, and has challenged the ministry to prove it is telling the truth.

The Government said it has channelled business’ orders of RATS into its own stocks, responding to claims from business that testing stocks had been requisitioned.

This means business’ orders of tests that were heading into the country will now be consolidated into an order by the Government.

They’re not requisitioning stocks they’re just consolidating them.

Has the Ministry of Health turned into Alice in Wonderland where a word means what it says it means?

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he was “not commandeering all the stocks that private businesses have”, and added that only tests that were not already in the country have been “consolidated”. . . 

InScience director Ann-Louise Anderson, who has had hundreds of thousands of tests on order, said the Government had actually taken product that was already in New Zealand, and challenged the Government to prove that what it said was true.  . . 

She isn’t the only one to contradict the DG:

The Government is seizing private supplies of rapid antigen tests to beef up its own stocks, according to multiple businesses. 

Some are warning this will lead to supply chaos and empty shelves, as businesses will no longer be able to offer tests to staff. Others are now complaining they’re having to explain to staff why tests they’d been promised might not arrive. 

Rapid antigen tests (RATs), which are effectively banned for the general public to use, can be used by a number of corporates and their employees. 

However a number of firms have reported being told by their supplier that their RAT orders are unable to be fulfilled because the Government is requisitioning them. 

Katherine Rich, chief executive of the food and grocery council, which represents businesses that supply shops with food and drink, said multiple members of her organisation had been told their suppliers had been cancelled. 

“They have been told that all available stock has gone to the Ministry of Health,” she said. 

Rich said that businesses were frustrated that they had done the right thing by planning ahead, only for the Government to take their stocks at the last minute. 
 
“They have had plans, they have done the right thing, they put the orders in,” she said. 

“This idea that RATs are readily accessible is wrong – their orders have been in the country, but they’re not able to be dispatched because they’ve been poached by the Ministry of Health. So much for asking everyone to be prepared,” she said.  . . 

Whoever you believe, this action is due to government  incompetence:

The Government is seizing rapid tests from the private sector to try and hide their incompetence from not ordering enough of them sooner, National Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“I have been approached by a series of organisations today, all of whom have orders for rapid antigen tests about to be filled. They have been told that those orders cannot be filled because the rapid antigen tests are now going to the Government instead.

I tried to order some RATs for our farms and was told the order couldn’t be processed and new supplies weren’t expected until March.

“That the Government has now resorted to requisitioning rapid antigen tests from the private sector is a stunning indictment of the Government’s incompetence over rapid antigen testing.

“How many of the 4 million rapid tests currently in New Zealand, that the Prime Minister has been talking about, actually belong to the Government?

“How many of the 14 million tests the Prime Minister says are on order to arrive by the end of February are actually just orders taken from companies?

“The Government banned the importation of rapid antigen testing for most of 2021, only relenting in the final quarter and allowing selected companies to bring in a small number. Having banned their use the Government is now scrambling to get enough rapid tests for its own uses.

“The Government has no one to blame but itself.

“This is redolent of the behaviour of the Government with Rako Science and saliva testing. Rather than just negotiating in good faith with the saliva testing provider, the Government pushed a law through under urgency last year to allow them to seize its assets.” 

Businesses that were taking responsible and being prepared have been trumped by the government that went on holiday and is now trying to play catch up.

Added to this is an almost criminal level of stupidity that has done too little, too late with the use of saliva tests.

A Covid-19 saliva testing expert from Yale University is “terrified” at how unprepared the Government is for Omicron, and says it urgently needs to ramp up saliva testing of border workers before it is too late.

Yale University’s Anne Wyllie says New Zealand authorities need to test border workers daily, and pay attention to new research showing saliva testing is better at detecting Omicron.

“I’m terrified it’s going to be too little too late. New Zealand has had almost two years to straighten out its testing system, to get things in place.” . . 

It is too little, too late – again for saliva tests and also for Covid treatments.

The Government must move as fast as possible to approve and order supply of promising new Covid-19 treatments, National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Lagevrio (molnupiravir) and Paxlovid have both been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia, and regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom and the United States, but we are on the go-slow here in New Zealand.

Why do we have to reinvent the wheel? Surely there’s a way to fast track approval for treatments already accepted as safe in these countries?

“With Omicron now in our community and with cases likely to increase quickly, we need access to these next generation Covid-19 treatments fast.

“Paxlovid in particular is very exciting. Initial results show it significantly reduces (by 89%) hospital admissions and deaths among people with Covid-19 who are at high risk of severe illness.

“New Zealand has purchased 60,000 courses but it is not approved here yet and supply won’t arrive until April.

If Omicron moves as quickly here as it has overseas, April will be far too late for some people.

“We will be well into the Omicron outbreak by April and we need the option of these treatments as soon as possible.

“National’s pressure led the Government to sign advance purchase agreements for both Lagevrio (molnupiravir) and Paxlovid last year. The Government did the right thing by establishing a dedicated fund inside Pharmac to purchase these treatments in advance of them being approved, which National suggested in September.

“Now the Government needs to make sure we have supply of these treatments as soon as possible and that approval is expedited.”

The government and Ministry might call it consolidation.

A couple of other words come to mind – control freakery and incompetence, because the government has been lax and late – again.

2 Responses to Control freakery & ‘consolidation’

  1. pdm1946 says:

    Incompetent control freaks.

    Like

  2. […] Control freakery & ‘consolidation’ […]

    Like

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