The present Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic has devastated the world thus far and continues to dominate daily lives. Even though scientists and healthcare workers are doing everything to find effective vaccines and treatments in the fight against COVID-19, this will take some time to achieve. The current best course of action is to stop the spread of the virus. The most successful strategy observed in several countries like South Korea, Germany and Singapore, is a combination of social isolation with widespread, early detection testing.
Every country has instituted its own social distancing system to flatten the curve during this COVID-19 pandemic, with policies such as working from home for non-essential workers, shutting down schools, restaurants and bars, as well as stopping all public events with gathering of over a certain threshold of people. These policies along with travel bans from highly affected countries has shown to have a large effect on the spread of the virus. However, this by itself is not enough to reduce the amount of people infected daily, due to the exponential growth of human to human transmitted viruses.
While various countries use different methods of testing and are testing at a different frequency, one thing is certain: it is essential to carry out rapid tests for anyone experiencing symptoms of the virus, as well as the people they have been in contact with recently. One method of testing that has been found to be efficient is the COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test Kit. This test technique is a qualitative prompt finger-prick test that scans for COVID-19 antibodies (including IgM and IgG antibodies). The test results are processed in 10-15 minutes after four simple steps and it only requires a sample of 50µL blood or 20µL serum and plasma. The SARS-CoV-2 antibodies test is a crucial approach many countries have used to reduce their testing process from hours to a matter of minutes. Another important COVID-19 testing method is COVID-19 Antigen Test Kit, which can rapidly detect active coronavirus infection.
Additionally, there are several other means innovated to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection. The significance of broad testing for COVID-19 is that without the information from this, scientists and statisticians are not able to fully comprehend how the pandemic is developing. Lack of testing would make it harder to understand the real threat of the virus, thus not being able to implement appropriate countermeasures against the spread of COVID-19. It also makes it difficult to recognize the actions that are necessary to be taken at the individual or societal level.
Until the discovery and approval of a vaccine for this strain of the Coronavirus disease, it is vital all countries emulate the success stories of South Korea, Germany, Singapore and so on. As the World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, “To win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics — testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact.” At the end of the day, we are all in this together! In order to flatten the curve and achieve victory worldwide, we will have to quickly learn from the existing triumphs and adapt.
Please visit the WHO official site for latest updates on COVID-19 outbreak.