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Role of Testing to Tackle COVID-19 Epidemic

April 2, 2020 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team

The World Health Organization has declared for nations to "test, test, and test" for COVID-19 - here is why?

One of the most significant things that nations are taking to better know and prevent the spread of COVID-19 is testing. Here we describe why testing is relevant.

The World Health Organization's Director-General remarked that nations can do more to hold the COVID-19 outbreak. Testing all presumed cases is a necessary part of knowing the measure of the outbreak and how it is growing. "We have a single message for all nations: test, test, and test."

As global cases surpass 823,626 and continue to grow, he highlighted the crucial requirement to increase testing. "Test every doubted case, if they examine positive, separate them and discover out who they have been in touch with two days before they emerged symptoms and test these people, too," he told.

Benefits of Testing

  • Large-scale testing enables health services to immediately recognize who has the virus and provide for them to get the care required. Separating known cases stops them from getting into touch with others and reduces the rate of delivery.
  • Efficient testing programs enable authorities and health authorities to know how widespread the disease is and how it is growing. This supports authorities to deliver evidence-based choices to try to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Knowing and separating those with the virus also serves to evade an unexpected spike in new patients.
  • Reducing the rate of new viruses decreases the peak of the virus, which can reduce the overall estimate of cases. Sufficient testing and quarantine steps assist release the pressure on health services, which can speedily become flooded as call surges for respirators and other dangerous lifesaving devices.

How are COVID-19 tests performed?

The most popular tests for COVID-19 include using a swab from a patient's nostrils and neck and checking them for the genetic footstep of the virus. They are named "PCR tests". The initial PCR tests for COVID-19 occurred very quickly - in two weeks of the virus being recognized - and they are presently a portion of the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s suggested protocol for handling virus.

Why is testing necessary?

  • Testing enables infected people to understand that they are affected. This can assist them to get the care they want, and it can assist them to take steps to decrease the uncertainty of affecting others. People who don't identify they are infected might not stay at a place and thereby endanger affecting others.
  • Testing is also important for a suitable response to the pandemic. It enables us to get the spread of the disease and to practice evidence-based steps to decrease the spread of the virus.
  • To know how dangerous the virus is, we require to test people to see if they have it. For example, if we see that 100 people have died of it, it does make a significant difference whether that's out of 1,000 people who have had the virus, or 100,000. The way to tackle a virus that grows very quickly but doesn't kill many of those affected is very different from the way to battle a disease that grows more gradually but is more dangerous.
  • Possibly most importantly, testing allows healthcare workers to identify people with the condition, and help separate them and the people they've been in touch with.

Can COVID-19 tests fail?

There are many reasons why someone infected with COVID-19 may provide a false-negative outcome when tested:

  • People may be in the initial stage of the infection with a viral amount that is too weak to be recognized.
  • There may have been a difficulty with specimen samples, meaning there was a very small sample to test.
  • There may have been inadequate treatment and transportation of samples and test stuff.
  • There may have been technological issues integrated into the test, e.g. virus variation.

The WHO recommends that these problems should be brought into account and that for some people, tests should be carried out several times.

Sadly, the ability of COVID-19 testing is yet low in many countries around the globe. For this reason, we quiet do not have a good knowledge of the extent of the pandemic. All nations should make an effort to test all doubted cases. We cannot battle this pandemic blindfolded.

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