Coronavirus testing ramps up around the country as limits are broadened

“Test, test, test,” that was the cry from the Prime Minister and that is what has been happening around the country today as big changes to fight Covid-19 come into effect.

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From today, anyone showing symptoms can be swabbed for Covid-19. Source: 1 NEWS

Anyone showing Covid-19 symptoms can now be swabbed after many were turned away, that includes one man who became infected but was twice turned away from testing.

It comes as a further 61 cases of Covid-19 were revealed in New Zealand, bringing the total number of cases to 708.

Geoff Muliaga Brown said testing should not have been that hard.

“The process has been difficult, I’m not going to say it was the easiest,” says Mr Muliaga Brown.

Covid-19 Cases, North Island, April 1. Source: 1 NEWS

He is part of the country’s largest Covid-19 cluster at Auckland’s Marist College and says he was twice turned away.

But battles like his should now be over as the Prime Minister urged those on the frontline to widen the borders of testing.

At Auckland’s busiest testing station queues of cars lined the streets today, where before 70 per cent of people received a test.

Dr Alistair Sullivan of Tāmaki Health says now, that number will likely increase to 90 per cent but stressed those without symptoms would not get tested.

Covid-19 cases, South Island, April 1. Source: 1 NEWS

Gone are the requirements to have been overseas or in contact with someone with the virus.

Now the guidelines are for anyone with respiratory symptoms which are consistent with Covid-19, anyone with a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever.

Medical Association Chairperson, Kate Baddock says it will make a lot of people less anxious.

“These are all the people that wanted to be tested before who now will be.”