“What do you think is happening there? Are you concerned?” she asked Dr Swan.
The former physician replied that the response of South Australians had been “fantastic” in coming forward for testing.
“They’ve done the right thing by locking down”.
However, he said, there was a “problem” in Australia’s testing process.
That was that all test samples had to go through the time consuming process of being sent to pathology labs.
There have been complaints in NSW that results are taking days to come back.
Dr Swan said more rapid so-called antigen testing should be made available.
“It is quite common in other parts of the world and you could really unload a lot of the testing to rapid antigen testing where you get the result in 15 or 30 minutes and it costs $5 or $10, not $100.”
“There are rivers of gold flowing into pathology services who have opposed antigen testing.”
Commentator Norman Swan had an pessimistic outlook for NSW. Picture: Channel 10.Source:Supplied
‘We might not get over this in NSW’
Dr Swan suggested NSW’s prospects of getting to zero or managing the virus might be more likely if it could find cases quicker.
“Rapid testing might be the way to go to unload the regular testing so you can allow things to open up.
“It is not a replacement for the nose swab but it could be a way to test people to ensure they’re not infectious before going into the workplaces,” he said.
“We have to work out how to ramp it up because we might not get over this in NSW.
“How will we live with this until we get 80 per cent of people vaccinated?”
Dr Swan was also asked why NSW was seemingly in a struggle to get its cases consistently below 100.
He had essentially a six word answer.
“Because they lost control of it.”
He elaborated that the contact tracers were trying their hardest but they had been “overwhelmed”.
“That doesn’t take a very high load of cases.
“Every case is maybe 100 contacts. Out in the community, and each day you are adding on 20, 30, 35 cases, in this case 40 cases today who need to be traced.
“It is an enormous workload and it has been overwhelmed, and so there are people circulating out there in the community with the virus.”
And he had a grim outlook of the current outbreak in Sydney.
“It is all over Sydney.
“We are focusing on the southwest suburbs when the virus is all over the place.”