A man stole 42,000 rapid antigen tests from a goods depot in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon. An investigation has been opened by the city’s police and the Prime Minister has denounced a “shameful act” when the country is precisely affected by a shortage of tests.
A man stole 42,000 rapid antigen tests from a goods depot in Sydney, Australian authorities announced on Wednesday, in a country where such tests are increasingly rare. The thief entered a goods depot in the suburb of Mascot on Tuesday afternoon and “took possession of the tests”, a New South Wales police spokeswoman said, without giving further details.
A “shameful” act
“Officers from South Sydney Police have opened an investigation into the theft of rapid antigen tests,” she added. Dominic Perrottet, Premier of New South Wales, condemned the incident, saying Australia is facing a testing shortage. “At a time when everyone across our state is going to incredible lengths to keep people safe, by making sacrifices, what a shameful act,” he blasted. “The police will catch you.”
According to the Australian Consumer Watch, these tests are sold for 22 Australian dollars each (about 20 euros) by various retailers. The Australian Council of Trade Unions this week threatened to strike if rapid antigen tests were not provided free of charge to vulnerable workers. Scott Morrison, however, defended his test management policy and did not comply with requests for free. A shipment of 52 million rapid tests will be flown to Australia this month from Asia and the United States.