18 September, 2020

Quarantine Over, Is It Safe To Meet Family? To Test Or Not To Test For Coronaovirus Is The Question

India has one of the lowest COVID-19 testing rates in the world. Experts reckon testing will have to be ramped up to know the success of lockdown. Will locally made kits help?

Late start
The US was slow in its testing, but ramped up the exercise when cases spiralled
Photo by PTI
Quarantine Over, Is It Safe To Meet Family? To Test Or Not To Test For Coronaovirus Is The Question
outlookindia.com
2020-04-03T18:23:38+05:30

A Bangalore-based executive will complete his 14-day home quarantine this week. He is in a dilemma, though. Ever since he returned from an overseas business trip, he has been cooped up in a room in his home, peeking at his family only through a window. The solitary spell has been quite an experience. Initially, he grappled with anxiety as news of the novel coronavirus exploded. Days later, there was a visit from local health authorities, who stamped a quarantine seal on his hand—an event that piqued neighbours’ curiosity. From time to time, he got an IVR call: “If you have no symptoms, press 1. If you have cough, fever or breathing difficulty, press 2.” He has not gone beyond 1. Yet, knowing that people can be asymptomatic and still be infected with the virus leaves him with a nagging question as the quarantine comes to an end—is it safe to meet his family again? “The only way to know is by testing,” he says.

Facilities have indeed been ramped up and more people are being tested now—nearly 18,000 tests were conducted last...

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