The Washington Post reported that health officials in New York, California and many locations heavily affected by the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have decided to change the testing strategy. Instead of widespread coverage, testing will now be limited to health-care workers and serious illnesses.
The announcement was accompanied by an acknowledgment of the failure to control the spread of the virus, and the country will have to move to a new phase of anti-epidemic.
In many parts of the United States, the number of new infections is constantly increasing, resulting in more deaths and increasingly depleted medical supplies. So instead of continuing extensive testing, the authorities decided to focus on preserving masks, protective masks, ventilation ducts – ventilators and intensive care beds. Testing will also be limited to health care workers and serious illnesses. This is a sign that the disease is gradually overwhelming the health system of this country.
Stopped a wide test
The announcement was similar to what the White House issued on March 21, with requirements for saving medical supplies scarce, and issued guidelines for those who should get tested. The highest priority is for health workers, symptomatic individuals, and seniors over 65 years old – especially those with a history of heart or lung disease.
“Not all Americans need tests,” – Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “When you get tested, you will spend a personal protective outfit – including a mask and a hospital gown – which is in particular a priority for health workers, because they are directly taking care of care for patients infected with corona virus. “
In order to convey the message more clearly, many officials had frankly shared that the extensive testing could endanger health workers, and even their own anti-virus campaign. covered. Because, scarce medical equipment will quickly exhaust with the influx of patients too large.
“At a time when masks and hospital gowns were so scarce, every time we did an unnecessary test for a person, we deprived the survival tools of the intensive care team personnel,” – quoted Demetre Daskalakis, deputy commissioner of Disease Control at the New York Department of Health.
Daskalakis said that those with symptoms of cough and fever under control, although less likely to have severe symptoms, should assume that they have been infected and isolated themselves. Testing in this situation is of no benefit, except to increase the risk to medical personnel and to waste the device.
Testing will be restricted to health care workers and people with severe symptoms
The test result, even if it is negative, makes it easy to feel wrong, in the context of Covid-19. Daskalakis shared that one of his patients had symptoms but the test was negative, he still asked this person to assume that he was infected and conduct self-isolation to ensure safety.
Jolion McGreevy – the director of the emergency department of Mount Sinai Institute, where the first cases of New York virus infection – also agreed. Every day, this hospital only tests for a small portion of more than 100 patients with symptoms of respiratory infection.
“The default diagnosis is real. Anyone who comes here with symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory infection or similar flu … will be assumed to have been infected with the virus. Most likely they have been infection, so there’s no benefit in testing. ” – McGreevy said.
Change tactics: focus on reducing transmission and mortality
In Los Angeles on March 19, health officials issued a recommendation to doctors about abandoning widespread testing. The test should only be done if the results can change the direction of treatment, the Los Angeles Times reported. “The tactic has been shifted from epidemic control to slowing the spread, and preventing deaths,” – Excerpt in health notice.
On the same day, Sacramento County ordered residents to stay indoors, except in emergencies to better control disease. The county health official said the ordinance was designed to protect those at high risk of the virus, slow down the spread, and ensure the safety of health workers on the front lines.
“We expect the public to understand that it is not possible for everyone to test, especially if they have only mild symptoms, even without symptoms.” – quoted Jeff Duchin, health official in Seattle.
This is a trade-off between personal and social interests – something Americans rarely have to choose. Having the test results will help everyone’s psychology to be stable, but masks, manpower and equipment used to test for people with few symptoms can actually save someone else’s life worse.
“I know people will feel more at ease knowing their condition. But really, it doesn’t change the way you are treated.”
Source: Washington Post