Reliable coronavirus tests are vital amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to Bill Gates, these test are rendered 'ineffective' due to the delayed results.
Recently, the co-founder of Microsoft was asked questions in an interview with CNBC. Gates said that most coronavirus tests need to be improved. One specific complaint was that the results take too long, when it should be released within 24 to 48 hours.
"The simplest thing, which has to do with such insanity, is you should not reimburse somebody for getting a test that it takes more than 48 hours to get the result back. That test is a complete waste. And to all these numbers about how much we test, the majority is just complete waste," Bill Gates said during his interview.
He added that a long waiting time for the test result is not optimal and can be dangerous, especially now with the increasing number of cases. Getting the results as quickly as possible is needed to change people's behavior and to prevent spreading the disease unknowingly, according to CNN.
In the initial days of the pandemic, the U.S. did not have nationwide testing that could have been helpful. If only the coronavirus tests have a faster turnaround time, the US might have tracked the patients faster. This also means early quarantine, which will eventually lessen the risk of transmission to others.
Experts are critical at the waiting time to receive result after getting tested. According to assistant secretary for health ADM. Brett Giroir, this is the reason why the drive to halt the contagion has not been very effective. The problem lies in the delay of COVID-19 test results.
Another persistent problem is some people's refusal to wear masks or to follow health bulletins. Recently, Dr. Fauci and even President Trump appealed to the public to wear a mask to lessen surging cases.
Giroir had an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper and talked about COVID-19 testing. He said that when coronavirus test results take almost a week, then many people can't get immediate medical attention.
The optimal turnaround time is 24 hours or less.This is called point-of-care-testing, that should be the goal of COVID-19 testing kits. It can be reached as a final goal with efforts to design a better test.
Furthermore, he remarked that half of most testing is done in the auspices of labs that are mostly large and commercial.
According to the data on the testing duration for these centers, they get it done in 4.27 days on the average. The process still needs improvement so commercial testing centers can process results faster, according to KAKE.
Quest and LabCorp can conduct pool testing, which is expected to get efficiency higher for better output of testing results. Cities besieged by outbreaks have surge mass testing to contain the spread of the virus.