Experts claim that, with case numbers still escalating, coronavirus testing continues to be crucial. However, the advent of vaccinations compels the entire scenario to veer into a new direction.
May of 2020 witnessed the city of Los Angeles transforming its celebrated Dodgers Stadium into the largest Covid-19 testing site in the states. With infections spreading like wildfire, the Stadium was allegedly conducting up to 16,000 tests per day.
Amidst Covid-19 Vaccinations, The Rate Of Testing Has Significantly Lowered
But in January, the Stadium had decided to convert its operations. Testing for infections was disbanded and instead, the Stadium transitioned into a vaccination site. As one would expect, the testing rates dropped dramatically.
And, Los Angeles does not stand to be an exception. The demand for testing has switched to vaccination, all throughout the country. Data suggests that while the United States was conducting up to 2 million tests per day in January, it is now only carrying out an average of 1.3 million tests on a regular basis.
Indeed, this drop in testing rates indicate certain positive variables and can be characterized by the plummeting case numbers as well as the surge in the number of vaccinations given out. Yet, this is simultaneously worrying, considering Covid-19 remains widespread. 50,000 new cases are being reported each day in the U.S while only 14 percent of the entire population is vaccinated.
With most of the citizens moving on to vaccination, the situation appears to be more precarious. Although vaccination remains the utmost goal, up until the entire population is immunized, testing is essential.
Following are the four reasons while testing remains crucial despite the emergence of vaccination:
Identifying infected individuals
While vaccines certainly prohibits an individual from contracting the virus in the future, it cannot diagnose an individual. Diagnosis remains vital so that the infected patients can have access to the adequate treatment and care. The PCR tests or the Polymerase Chain Reaction tests, which can detect even small fragments of genetic material from the virus, continue to be the solution for this plight.
Keeping the virus in check
Testing is not only essential for diagnosing an individual but it also ensures to implement the precautions and necessary actions that follow the diagnosis such as quarantining which restrains the virus from getting further transmitted. Vaccination, although immensely powerful, is not capable enough of containing this entire pandemic by itself. It would largely require other elements to back it up such as timely testings and proper healthcare policies. These elements can together slow down the transmission rate, which means that less people will become likely to get infected. It would also suggest that the virus will have minute opportunities to mutate.
To apprehend the situation
Testing is the only method by which it can be understood whether or not the vaccines are working. Testing will also help to determine whether the vaccines are effective enough in fighting the new strains of the Corona virus. Testing also helps to determine the percentage of people who have achieved immunity. A high percentage of individuals with immunity contributes to “herd immunity”, which protects the wider population.
Curbing the situation and essentially preventing it from escalating
Experts believe that the virus is not likely to disappear any time soon nor it will disappear entirely in the future. It will continue to persist as different variants and testing will help scientists to detect dangerous variants early. While it is true that tests are not completely accurate and occasionally generate faulty results, they do offer a critical perspective in understanding the severity of the situation.
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