NSW Labor has called on the Government to develop a dedicated phone app or website for COVID-19 test bookings to help tackle lengthy queues at drive-through clinics in south west Sydney.
There have been chaotic scenes across Sydney’s south west with the identification of more cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster. Hundreds of people have been forced to wait for more than five hours in their cars in queues stretching more than a kilometre outside pop-up testing clinics.
Labor’s proposal would see an app or website build on existing services and allow people to: Book a test online in advance to avoid waiting in a line; and use real-time information to see which clinics have testing capacity to avoid overcrowding.
Shadow Minister for Better Public Services, Sophie Cotsis MP, said: “While drive-through pop-up clinics are a good idea, the reality is that people have been stuck waiting for hours to get tested.”
“It’s common sense. Faster testing would help identify cases, speed-up contact tracing and stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ms Cotsis added.
“The Government already provides people with real time information on waiting times in emergency departments, including the number of people waiting to be seen. We must immediately implement a similar system for COVID testing sites.”
The Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong, spoke about his experience getting tested after he learnt of the outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula.
“Thousands of people in south west Sydney have done the right thing and came forward to get tested,” Mr Chanthivong said.
“Unfortunately, while waiting in line for testing for two hours at Campbelltown Hospital on Sunday, I saw people leave out of frustration. There were similar scenes at the pop-up clinic at Casula on Monday because the wait was too long.
“We must improve the efficiency of testing so long lines don’t deter people trying to do the right thing to keep our community safe.
“The NSW Government needs to make it quick and easy for people to get tested so we can stop COVID-19 outbreaks as soon as possible.”