Test, test, test

We are close to achieving the 5 tests set out by the UK government to reach before easing lockdown. In saying that, cases remain high in Scotland. People are still contracting this illness every day. We need widespread testing and contact tracing (with public buy in) before we can ease lockdown. People would need to comply with self isolation in the result of symptoms or awaiting test results. Therefore employers need to be sympathetic to this. Before this is in place - the second wave could be worse than the first - please don't end lockdown yet. My personal experience as a doctor - even in hospital where testing is prioritised we frequently run out of swabs (we get them from another, bigger hospital and they limit the number they give us) and the results can take 1-2 days to come back. We are not allowed to test all inpatients because we'd run out of in a matter of hours, but that results in infected patients slipping through to non-covid wards frequently, often becoming symptomatic days later. Staff levels of infection are high. Public health are on the ground and I'm sure their expertise will be involved in next steps.

Why the contribution is important

This virus is more infective than we know. The 2m rule, the social distancing, the lockdown - it's all to try to control it but we don't know if it's enough. Face masks - I don't believe non-FFP3 masks achieve much (yes we know they reduce droplets, but if they stopped the virus - our healthcare workers who are wearing them all the time wouldn't be contracting it). Measures are working but not quickly. Without knowing where it is, we are helpless to beat it. As a side point - I am so, so disappointed by the numbers of people I have seen break the lockdown rules. Everybody thinks they are the exception. Please promote public health understanding in the future as clearly people don't understand the consequences of their actions. Wash your hands. Stay home. Save lives.

by Triona on May 08, 2020 at 07:53AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 17 votes

Comments

  • Posted by MikeJohnston May 08, 2020 at 09:08

    Totally agree.
  • Posted by MarielSlater May 08, 2020 at 10:59

    Test, trace, isolate.
  • Posted by Dwilliams21 May 08, 2020 at 11:12

    Agree. Testing is key. But I fear the response time under a TTIS strategy needs to be much quicker, otherwise a) the numbers who may have been infected will be greater and b) those who may have been infected may not have been self-isolating
  • Posted by tonywatson1 May 08, 2020 at 11:13

    Well said
  • Posted by Calum64 May 08, 2020 at 11:47

    We are not testing enough people often enough and we do not have the resources to increase delivery of the current test to the required level. However we can employ a parallel strategy. We can carry out a simple, instant temperature test of everybody standing in a supermarket queue starting today by giving a suitable thermometer to the people stewarding the doors. This will give a quick indicative measure of the level of infection in the community based on a more random sample than at present. Follow this up with a confirmatory test of those with a high temperature within a day or two as part of the general TTIS strategy. To secure cooperation, anybody with a high temperature will not get entry to the supermarket but can buy a standard £25 box of groceries and gets an internet code entitling them to home delivery.
  • Posted by Scotland_is_flatlining May 10, 2020 at 15:21

    Agree. We need to see a 10-fold increase in testing to properly support Test, Track and Trace. All people identified as having been at risk through the TTT process should be tested and not left in isolation. If / when there is a further wave of the virus testing capacity will be an important signal and enable early action. Sharing facilities throughout the UK will enable regional spikes to be better managed.
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