Supplies of medical equipment used to test for COVID-19 are at risk of running short in Australia as overseas manufacturers restrict supplies to protect their own needs.
Australia's chief health officer Brendan Murphy said on Friday there was a temporary issue with medical supplies, due to the high number of infection tests that had already been carried out in recent days.
"We have done a lot of testing over the last few weeks on people who probably didn't meet the criteria. So we are working through that, working through a new testing paradigms so that we can make sure doctors only refer people who have a decent prospect of a positive test," Professor Murphy said on Friday.
He said the issue meant a temporary restriction on the number of tests that could be carried out, but there were good systems in place to ensure community safety.
"It relates to the fact that a number of countries, where these consumables are made, have probably put export controls over them to keep them for their own use. We've got world-leading medical technology and will fix that issue."
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT was in a better position than some other jurisdictions and at present had sufficient supplies.
"That's the advice I have at this time, obviously it's not unlimited but as I understand it the pressures are more in Western Australia than they are here," Mr Barr said on Friday when asked about the ACT's stocks of testing equipment.
"It's more of a short-term issue that relates to a couple of international suppliers effectively holding their stock for their domestic use, but as the chief medical officer has explained, the Commonwealth and state and territory officials are working through that issue."
Mr Barr said he would continue to keep the community updated as more information emerged.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said experience from previous pandemics was that outbreaks could manifest differently in different cities, making it important for federal, territory and state leaders to be in constant contact, which was now happening.
- with Sally Whyte