30 September 2021

Covid testing and quarantine : Is it causing people to NOT get tested?

I have had three Covid19 tests all up, I had two when coming through managed isolation in 2020 and a third in Australia when departing earlier this year, and they were qualitatively different in terms of experience.  The standard New Zealand PCR test is akin to "nasal violation" with a swab taken through the nostril to the back of the throat. It is invasive, painful and highly unpleasant. However, the PCR test in Australia was a throat swab followed by a nostril swab which was only around a centimetre or so inside.  Heaven help those who get the nasal violation swabbing regularly because of their jobs, but is there a good reason why the former and not the latter is used in NZ? Certainly saliva testing is less reliable, but can be done more frequently.  

So are people who have had one nasal violation test LESS likely to have more? Is NZ's unwillingness to adopt more patient friendly tests reducing the rate of testing? I'd be very reluctant to get tested (in NZ) unless I was clearly symptomatic, are others like this?

Then there is what happens if you are found to HAVE Covid. There is a fair chance you get shipped off to a quarantine facility rather than being able to isolate at home.  What does the fear of THAT do to people to cause them to hesitate being tested?  If you had rent to pay, and a job, would you want the state taking you away from your home and family for several weeks?  Wouldn't you be MORE likely to get tested if you knew you could self-isolate at home (bearing in mind you may have already passed it onto those you live with, if you haven't then it is another story)?

Does the unwillingness to take a more patient centred approach risk more people having Covid, not being tested and not isolating?

1 comment:

Sally said...

I would think that it is about time to stop testing healthy people.