Salem Radio Network News Thursday, January 20, 2022


Australian regulator to review price hike in COVID-19 antigen tests

(Reuters) – Australia’s antitrust regulator said on Tuesday it has contacted suppliers of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits to examine pricing pressures in the market, as calls grow louder for the government to make the tests free amid a severe shortage of the kits.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement it will review information received from suppliers, retailers and the public to determine any potential misconduct.

Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison sought to relieve pressure on overrun COVID-19 testing facilities and encouraged greater use of antigen tests as the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant caused a surge in cases in Australia’s two most populous states.

As of Tuesday, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria reported 37,151 new cases between them, just shy of the national one-day high of 37,212 hit a day earlier. Hospitalisations in NSW, home to Sydney, more than doubled in a week to 1,344, surpassing the record numbers hit during the Delta outbreak.

The country is facing a shortage of rapid antigen test kits, while Morrison said the government would not cover the cost for people to test themselves, which he put at A$15 ($10.80).

The ACCC also cautioned businesses to not collude about pricing and make any misleading claims to consumers about it.

($1 = 1.3889 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)


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