How early decisions on coronavirus testing helped shape a pandemic
And Germany cleared regulatory hurdles to allow biotech firms to make tests available on a scale that the country’s government could not.
But the United States and Japan stumbled, experts say, by initially shutting out the private sector while proceeding sluggishly with public sector efforts, leaving too few tests to track the extent of the virus’ spread. Now, some experts say, the window for testing as a measure to curb transmission could be closing in many places where the virus is widespread.
“Because we didn’t have testing early on, it fatally flawed our covid response,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.
The World Health Organization has said that the gold standard for fighting an outbreak starts with testing.
“Test, test, test,” WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has implored: Test broadly, pick up cases, isolate patients, trace their close contacts and put those people into 14 days of quarantine.
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[Source: Washington Post]