Almost two million COVID test kits bought by the Australian government from billionaire Andrew Forrest are set to expire by the end of this month.
The federal government placed an order for 4.89 million COVID test kits and distributed 3 million to states.
Labor’s Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Pat Conroy told 9News:
“It’s an incredible waste of money. This government has been addicted to announcements with no follow-through. To see two million of them reach their expiry is an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Australia’s Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Greg Hunt has defended the expenditure.
He told 9 News that at the time the test kits were purchased it was “absolutely vital”.
“It’s been a critical part of our national testing program, it’s helped save lives and protect lives.”
Shashi Tharoor, a well-known writer and Indian opposition party Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, agrees with Labor.
Tharoor posted on social media: “Interesting: Australia has 2 million #Covid testing kits that will expire this month if not used. India needs to test far more people than we have kits for. Sounds like the perfect match, if GOI is quick enough on its feet to get them in time! @AusHCIndia“
Sydney based Indian origin Doctor Yadu Singh says If Australian and Indian government could work together to best utilise the available resources will be great for both countries.”
He told The Australia Today, “This is a global pandemic and world leaders have to come together to help each other to counter the surge of COVID19 as it occurs in different parts of the world.”