Temporary shortages of swabs to test for coranavirus have been expected, a federal Department of Health spokesman has confirmed.
"Given the global nature of a pandemic from time to time it is anticipated that temporary shortages in global supply chains may occur," the spokesman said after Launceston doctor Jerome Muir Wilson expressed fears not enough tests had been done to detect coronavirus in Tasmania.
"The Australian Government is working very hard to expand testing capacity and to make sure enough laboratory consumables are secured to last throughout the outbreak.
"The Australian health system is very well prepared and is supported by a world-class network of pathology laboratories, both public and private."
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The expert-led Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) group reviewed testing guidelines every day, the spokesman said.
"As there is not evidence of sustained community transmission in Australia, at the moment it is important that testing is reserved for returned travellers or those who have had contact with a confirmed case," he said.
"It is not appropriate for anyone who does not meet the suspect case definition, as defined by CDNA to be tested at this point in time.
"The COVID-19 CDNA national guidelines for public health units are reviewed daily and updated on an as needed basis."