COVID-19: The importance of testing for the Coronavirus

As time goes on, and a greater proportion of the UK population are infected with COVID-19, testing for the Coronavirus is even more important. COVID-19 tests are an invaluable tool for controlling the spread of the Coronavirus, especially when government restrictions on movement are relaxed.

In comparison to other countries, the UK is behind on the number of people that are tested on a daily basis. According to reports, South Korea tested 20,000 people per day, and Germany tested around 70,000 people per day. These countries seem to have been able to control the outbreak of Coronavirus, indicating the importance of testing.

Testing key workers is also vital in helping the UK to cope with the pandemic. In the case of The Royal College of Physicians, around 25% of staff are in self-isolation because either they have symptoms, or members of their household are exhibiting symptoms. By providing tests for key workers, we can establish who is able to work, and give staff the reassurance that they are not passing on the Coronavirus to others. Moreover, universal testing can help us to determine who is suitable to return to work when the government lockdown is lifted.

Testing COVID-19

What are the types of test?

The UK are working on offering two types of test; a test where a swab of the mouth or nose is taken, and an antibody test. The swab test can help to determine if someone has COVID-19, and if they are infectious. The antibody test is exactly the same as the COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette that we offer for organisations, which uses a blood sample to identify the presence of antibodies related to COVID-19. The antibody test should be conducted after the person has shown symptoms, and can indicate if they have built up immunity to the Coronavirus. While you will have to wait a few days for the results of the swab test, the antibody test yields results within 15 minutes.

If the general public, particularly key workers, undergo COVID-19 testing, they can know whether they have had the Coronavirus. This could potentially allow staff to return to work at a sooner date.