As novel coronavirus cases rise globally, along with deaths, developing a rapid test for COVID-19 is one of the key areas that researchers in Canada and around the world are targeting.
Experts have said widespread testing is necessary because it allows for better management of an outbreak. The British government, for instance, bought 3.5 million antibody testing kits from various suppliers in late March, with the intention of making sure they work before distributing them.
“The sooner you know if someone’s positive or negative, then the more infection control and outbreak control you can put in place,” said Dr. Anna Banerji, an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
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“Because in that time period, when someone may not be sure, they could be potentially spreading the virus. I think people practise more infection control when they know that someone has a condition.”
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1:49Coronavirus: Alberta Health Services explains why there is less testing in South Zone
Coronavirus: Alberta Health Services explains why there is less testing in South Zone
World Health Organization director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also urged this: “You can’t win a football game by defending, you have to attack as well.”
Countries must “test, test, test, test” in order to know who is infected and who needs to be isolated,