People who misrepresent information to NSW Health will be hit with fines of up to $5,000 after Health Minister Brad Hazzard became the target of a COVID-19 prank.
Hazzard revealed on Tuesday that he had been the victim of a COVID-19 prank after his details were falsely registered with NSW Health as having returned a positive rapid antigen test.
“Some people think it’s a joke – perhaps malicious – to put in false reports to [NSW Health] about somebody being positive,” Hazzard said.
“I can now speak from personal experience: I received a notification yesterday and again
today from NSW Health that apparently somebody has put my name in there as being a positive rapid antigen test.”
He described the prank as “extremely irresponsible”, adding that those who carried out similar pranks were undermining the public health system.
“It is juvenile, it is moronic but it’s also so disappointing to think that you would actually undermine an incredibly hard-working public health team here in NSW,” Hazzard said.
“I want to remind [people] that there is a $5,000 fine for anybody who misrepresents any facts to NSW Health.”
Those caught trying to carry out similar pranks will receive $5,000 fines, Hazzard added.
“The police will come hunting … but worse still, when you’re telling your friends about that, they will probably tell you how stupid you are. It’s quite moronic.”
It comes as NSW reports 29,830 new cases of COVID-19, of which 13,767 were from rapid antigen tests.
However, 11,564 of the rapid test results were from the previous seven days. People now need to report positive rapid test results within 24 hours.
Results can be registered through the Service NSW app by navigating to “COVID-19 resources” and then “Register a positive test result”.
Results can also be recorded by calling 13 77 88, or through the Service NSW website.
People who test negative on a rapid test do not need to register results, and neither do people who test positive on a PCR test.