According tomedia BGR, well-known talk show host John Oliver explained in a clip from his HBO show Last Week’s Tonight Show why testing for the new coronavirus is important and how it should work. Oliver also talked about COVID-19 diagnostic tests and immunity testing, detailing all the testing issues that are hampering the U.S. response to a pandemic.
Oliver explains in the video that one of the two key activities the U.S. needs to control highly contagious diseases is still a failure: testing. Rapid detection and contact tracing are key to the prevention and treatment of any infectious disease. With the right testing and proper contact tracking policies, countries can identify patients as early as possible and then treat and isolate them as quickly as possible. They can also trace their footprints to see who they may have infected.
South Korea has won the battle against the coronavirus by actively detecting and tracking contacts. Since the first cases were recorded in South Korea on January 26, there have been about 10,800 confirmed cases and 252 deaths. South Korea once appeared to be the next COVID-19 outbreak center alongside Italy. South Korea eventually managed to level the curve, while Italy did not.
Germany has also conducted large-scale tests, and by the time of writing, more than 166,000 cases of infection had been confirmed. Early testing has led to a significant drop in the number of deaths in Germany’s new crowns, with only 6,993 COVID-19 patients killed so far.
New Zealand announced last week that there was no widespread COVID-19 community transmission in the country. In other words, it knows the source of each case. This can only be done through consistent detection and contact tracking.
Oliver believes the U.S. has largely failed on both points, and his talk on “Last Week’s Tonight Show” is about testing. The report explains what went wrong in the early stages of the U.S. new corona virus response and why testing has been delayed. He also described the logistical issues affecting the COVID-19 test. In addition, the report notes, another key test that helps doctors understand the true extent of the disease, the immunity test, is also a huge problem. Most of them are unreliable and often return false positive results.