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‘Extreme urgency or events unforeseen’: Australian government buys up $62m worth of rapid antigen tests

Buying spree provides stock for free tests for some Australians but may exacerbate shortages elsewhere

The federal health department bought $62m worth of rapid antigen tests on Monday using the “extreme urgency or events unforeseen” provisions of its procurement rules as it seeks to secure stock to meet its commitment to provide free rapid antigen tests to lower-income Australians.

But the massive buying spree by the federal government could further exacerbate the shortage of tests on the open market.

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