Christchurch mum struggles to get tested for Covid-19

A Christchurch mum who fell ill after returning from Australia says it's been a struggle to get tested for coronavirus, despite the Government's testing regime increase.

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Despite the Government ramping up its testing regime, some are still struggling to get tested. Source: 1 NEWS

Davena Shields arrived home from Australia and developed a cough, sore throat and headache and is now self-isolating in a room above her garage.

Ms Shields is the primary caregiver for her 24-year-old son Marshall, who has cerabral palsy as well as serious lung and digestive complications.

Despite trying for days, Ms Shields has been unable to get tested for Covid-19.

"I don't want to go near my son until I actually know for sure what I've got," she tells 1 NEWS.

Ms Shields claims she's been given the runaround, saying Healthline sent her straight to a testing centre, only to be sent back to her GP. Her GP then yesterday referred back to the same testing centre.

She would finally receive good news today, and will be tested for Covid-19 tomorrow.

The number of tests nationwide has been increasing, the Ministry of Health today confirming it has the capacity to do more than 5,500 per day. But GPs report distribution is the biggest problem, only able to get hold of one at a time.

"It's very much hand to mouth," Dr Stephen Brown of Rangiora Medical Services says.

"We certainly haven't been stockpiling swabs, we don't have them, and they know how many we've been using."

The Government saying that they're addressing the issue, but while the mantra of 'test, test, test' continues to be repeated, the reality is proving more difficult than it sounds.