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Rush on Covid-19 testing in Queenstown after potential community transmission scare

There's been a rush on Covid-19 testing in Queenstown, with a one-day target of 300 tests eclipsed before lunchtime.

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Extra kits were rushed in to meet demand in the tourist hotspot, visited by a man who later tested positive for the virus in South Korea. Source: 1 NEWS

The pop-up testing station was set up in a Frankton supermarket carpark after a potential scare around community transmission.

Hundreds of residents turned up for testing, alarmed a recent visitor had tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival in South Korea last week.

It appears the visitor may have contracted the virus while in transit at Singapore’s Changi Airport or on his flight on to South Korea.

But Queenstown residents 1 NEWS spoke to today were taking a 'better safe than sorry' approach to ensure their community remains Covid-free.

"No one wants to go back into lockdown," one woman said. "We can't afford it."

One man said residents were simply doing what had been asked of them - even if it meant a long wait.

"We've been told as a nation to be obedient and here we are being obedient," the resident said. "And we're in a situation where there's nowhere near enough testing booths. It's ridiculous we have to wait so long."

As extra testing kits were brought in from around the district, the Government announced it's also looking to boost the use of QR codes and the tracer app in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the British government is tackling the length of time it takes to process Covid tests. It’s signed contracts with two suppliers of testing kits that produce results in 90 minutes.

“More people will be able to get tested more quickly,” says Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock. “So we find out where virus is and tackle it and keep those rates of infection down.”

The World Health Organisation has endorsed the development of rapid tests, saying it will help efforts to control the virus.

New Zealand's Ministry of Health is monitoring the use and accuracy of rapid tests but says the process of managed isolation here will remain unchanged.