Tuesday 3 March 2020

Testing scarcity

There could be a good explanation for this; it would be nice if the government would explain precisely what that explanation is. 
People with coronavirus-type symptoms are reportedly being turned away from testing at Wellington Hospital because they don't fit strict criteria.

As the Government awaits the results of two more people "highly suspicious" of having the virus, a senior Wellington Hospital doctor has told Stuff, under the condition of anonymity, that tests for Covid-19 were being refused for patients, even if they were showing symptoms of the virus.

These are people who had been to countries including the United States, parts of Europe, Vietnam, and Australia.

"Each of these regions has instances of apparent community coronavirus spread," the doctor said. 
My current null is that the government has just hunkered down with a pandemic plan not suited to a virus that can transmit for a week or two before showing up with symptoms.

But it could be that the tests are actually really scarce and so they're rationing them very heavily.

It would be very nice if the government would consider fronting on a story that's on the front page of the Dom Post.

Update: this afternoon's press conference said there's been no rationing of tests, it's just that cases presented aren't meeting the criteria. Dr Balm noted that the tests aren't useful when there aren't symptoms. But the headline story on the front page of the Dom said tests were being refused even if the person was showing symptoms. Maybe they need a bigger combination of symptoms?

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