Australian Government – 100 Million+ Rapid Antigen Tests

Table of Contents

Client Need

The first SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus case in Australia (nCoV-19) was reported in Victoria on the 25th of January 2020. On the same day, 3 cases were reported later in the adjacent state of New South Wales. In the days and weeks ensuing, state and territory governments were quick to introduce restrictive guidelines followed by strict measures from the federal government that included border closure, quarantine and social distancing. The effort to eliminate the virus was taking effect quickly.

Twelve months after the first COVID-19 case in Australia, vaccinations began. The vaccine rollout had an excellent uptake; Australia was one of the first countries in the globe to reach over 90% double vaccination rates. However, as more governments began to relax restrictions in late 2021, the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants began to spread very quickly, evading much of the immunity of the vaccinations provided.

State and Federal Australian Governments needed a testing solution that could rapidly screen residents and inbound persons for COVID-19 with little pressure on the already highly congested pathology systems. COVID-19 rapid testing already played an important part in helping to isolate and control the virus in other countries but was not yet widely available in Australia.

However, with the eastern states showing very high case numbers, a new testing method that would allow rapid screening was needed with urgency.

Westlab Solution

PCR tests (polymerase chain reaction), being the foundation (“Gold Standard”) of Australia’s COVID testing and tracing strategy since the pandemic began, had a definite place in our public health response. Still, the population needed a far more accessible and faster testing method to allow the release of the bottleneck at PCR testing sites.

Departments of the Australian Government reached out to Santé to source and supply a solution. Santé already had (and maintains) a reputation as a reliable, trusted source of highly efficacious rapid antigen tests and had supplied millions of tests and pandemic-support products to date, including PPE.

Westlab, working with Santé Group, could guarantee the supply of TGA-approved Rapid Antigen Tests to help the Australian Government departments deliver their promise to Australian citizens. As part of this, Westlab also were able to provide temperature-controlled warehousing in order to provide an end-to-end solution.

Below is a timescale of the quantities supplied.

MonthQuantity Supplied
December5,000,000+
January20,000,000+
February30,000,000+
March34,000,000+
April10,000,000+

End Result

Following approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia, the Australian Government required fast delivery of tests. Westlab supplied rapid antigen tests to our clients on time, despite significant national logistical challenges.

Our dedicated team will always find a way to rise to the challenge using our global network of validated manufacturers and strong global relationships.

The RAT test that Westlab supplied is classified as “Very High Sensitivity” on the TGA website. We are committed to continuous research and development to ensure sensitivity against emerging variants.

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