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‘Very clear’: Minister debunks alarming COVID test belief

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has debunked a concerning belief. Images: Getty
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has debunked a concerning belief. Images: Getty

Australians and residents have been reminded that the COVID-19 test is free amid testing challenges in New South Wales triggered by misinformation.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Tuesday asked that anyone with any symptoms comes forward for testing and debunked concerns that the tests require payment.

“I have heard, particularly in the multicultural community, some people thinking they have to pay to test. No, you don't. The COVID test is free,” he said.

“Very early on in this pandemic, we made it very clear that even if you have come from another country, an international destination, and you happen to be caught up here in New South Wales and not able to go back to your own country, NSW Health and the NSW government are picking up the charge for even your hospitalisation, but also for tests.”

It comes as NSW battles clusters on the Northern Beaches, in western Sydney’s Berala and the inner-west’s Croydon.

NSW reported four new cases of community transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday night.

Hazzard said some community members believe that when their Medicare card details are taken, they are required to make a payment for the COVID-19 test, but confirmed that the test is completely free.

Those who don’t have a Medicare card can also get tested for free.

“Get tested, it's free. We're here to back you when you back the community,” he said.

He said COVID-19 advice is delivered in several languages through social media, written advice, radio stations and also through community leaders.

“[There’s] a whole range of ... efforts are going out to try to make sure that we get to the local multicultural communities,” Hazzard said.

“What I would ask is that community leaders step forward and make sure your particular community hears the message.”

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