Free Covid tests are now available for everyone who can’t work from home

0
16



The Welsh Government are calling on all those who cannot work to access lateral flow self-test kits.

The rapid coronavirus testing kits will be available to collect from local test sites across Wales from Friday, April 16.

The Welsh Government is also looking at other collection venues for test kits to be made available, as well as being directly delivered to people’s homes.

It is hoped that improving the availability of lateral flow tests will make regular asymptomatic testing for coronavirus more convenient and accessible for people not covered under existing schemes at workplaces, childcare settings, schools, colleges and universities.

Will these help control the virus?

It is important to stress that lateral flow tests are by no means a magic bullet that will keep the virus under control.

According to the latest Welsh Government figures, since January 1, there have been 860,062 lateral flow tests recorded. Of them only 865 came back positive. That is only 0.1%.

This is compared to about 11% of PCR tests that have been taken since March last year which have come back positive.

In some ways this is to be expected because lateral flow tests are often taken by people who do not have symptoms unlike PCR tests. However these incredibly low amount of positive tests also speaks to the limitations of the lateral flows.

The BMJ reported that research has found that in people without symptoms the tests correctly identified an average of 58% of those who were infected. However, the number of samples from asymptomatic people was around 10 times lower than from symptomatic people in the studies analysed, limiting the conclusions that could be drawn

Evidence of the lateral flow testing limitations was shown in Merthyr Tydfil last winter. Despite being the first part of Wales to have mass testing it remained the place with most cases for a long time after the mass use of lateral flow tests happened.

Part of the issue is not just with the tests themselves, but also how they are carried out. The tests are not done by professional medical staff but rather by the person being tested. This means that they will not always be carried out correctly.

Why do the Welsh Government want people to use the tests and how will it work?

As many as one in three people may have Covid without displaying symptoms which means asymptomatic testing is an important means to keep people safe as restrictions are gradually eased.

At each testing site people will be able to collect the rapid lateral flow tests between 8am and 1pm. They will not need to make an appointment before collection. Sites will close for a deep clean and re-open for symptomatic PCR testing between 2pm and 8pm each day.

Each person will routinely be able to collect two packs of seven LFD self-test kits for home use. It is recommended that tests are undertaken twice a week with the results recorded on the UK Government portal.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “It is important that testing is made as convenient and accessible as possible. We are especially keen for self-test kits to be used by people who cannot work from home so they can undertake regular testing. This will help to keep them and their families safe.

“We know that up to one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms at all and can therefore spread it unknowingly. As we continue to ease restrictions, the routine testing of asymptomatic people will be imperative in our battle against the virus.”



Source link

قالب وردپرس

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here