South Australia is testing its citizens for COVID-19 at a higher rate than much of the world, according to the Australian Medical Association.

Looking at the number of tests carried out per capita, AMA data revealed that SA has been testing at a rate of 5,800 people per million.

It’s a rate far higher than that being carried out in Italy, the US and the UK, with over 3,000 people tested in SA so far.

Recent data from the US reveals that around 125 people per million have been tested in the US.

The high testing rate was due, in part, to the decision to test any swab take for a respiratory issue for the COVID-19 virus.

However, some virologists are calling on Australia to ramp up the amount of testing to better determine the virus’s spread throughout the community.

Virologist Dr Ian Mackay told the Guardian that Australia has been too slow to bring in widespread testing.


“What we know of most successful countries to turn around this pandemic – South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, China – is widespread testing to help them find cases, to keep contacts isolated and quarantine those who test positive,” Dr Mackay said.