Was yesterday a sort of mea culpa on Ashley Bloomfield's part? Finally, a confession that PCR testing is overwhelmed. Pooling in labs is overwhelmed, so they’ve stopped it.
The claim they could do 58,000 tests a day was never real, or close to being real. So, as he relaunched his 1pm update show he thought he would start with some sort of confession.
They've sent tests over to Queensland to clear the backlog. Test results aren't coming back in time, so the idea you can isolate and get the result in good order is now fanciful.
RATs are the answer. Ah, the RATs, the very tests that so many argued for so much of last year were needed to alleviate the inevitable debacle we are now immersed in. The same RATs the Government didn’t like, didn’t believe in, banned you from buying and didn’t clear for use.
It seems like a pattern, doesn’t it? Cock it up, deny it, keep denying it, and if it becomes overwhelmingly obvious you have cocked it up, admit it, and say it's all better now.
They are clearly worried about the numbers. 20,000 yesterday and no mention of the word "peak." Hospital numbers are rising, ICU numbers are rising, this is their worst nightmare potentially unfolding.
This is the scenario they spent two years trying to avoid, and yet it may well be, all they did was delay the inevitable.
Let's hope not. But when Bloomfield stands there admitting the system is overwhelmed, we have roped in Australia, and if you have questions ring Healthline, you know they are in trouble.
I have never rung Healthline, and I never will, but I have family who have. And when you are 156th in line and they then hang up on you, ringing Healthline isn't actually an answer to anything. The same way queuing all day for a PCR test only to be told they close at 4pm was never really an answer to anything either.
I can't work out whether the Ministry and Bloomfield have been genuinely surprised by all these cock ups. As in, they genuinely thought they would work, but are gobsmacked when they don’t. Or whether they secretly knew all along they wouldn’t, they just tried to hide it as best they could.
But the PCR debacle is yet another chapter in a long list of chapters where they swore black and blue was the answer, until it wasn’t.