A New Yorker article – Why coronavirus testing is not coming anytime soon.
Key points of this article: There are widespread shortages across the US in test kits, reagents, viral transport media, and even swab sticks. This is leading to selective testing of only certain categories of persons and making it hard to apply the ‘test, isolate, contact tracing, and quarantine’ approach that was so effectively used in South Korea and Singapore. Many private companies are offering test kits, but the quality of these is questionable. Some companies are planning to sell home-testing kits. Ramping up testing also has the unfortunate implications of (1) using up personal protective equipment (PPE) at a time when there are critical shortages of such PPE; and (2) exposing multiple people to risk of infection if an infected person travels for testing or stands in line for testing. In a high-prevalence area, a person with fever or cough or sore throat, the probability that it’s a covid-19 infection is very high.