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If you got tested today for the coronavirus and the result turns out negative, that doesn’t mean you won’t get it next week. So should people be tested regularly?


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I believe that in order to track the spread of the corona virus, people should be tested regularly. However, by regularly, I mean about three times a year for people without any symptoms. If we were to test every citizen on a regular basis, the public health centers will be overwhelmed with hundreds of tests to deal with due to the lack of qualified personnels to conduct the test. Additionally, the increase in number of tests will clearly lead to the number of infection skyrocketing, stirring people's fear and it will bring about further economic recession. It is difficult to trace the virus and keep the economy running, and I'm an advocate for implementing more tests. Yet, considering the downturns it might provoke, it would be better to have only the people with symotoms be tested.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you got tested today for the coronavirus and the result turns out negative, that doesn’t mean you won’t get it next week.


How would someone who has been at home the last 2 weeks, got tested yesterday, results were false, AND stays home with no outside interactions (people or packages) become infected?

I'm not against testing, when the tests are accurate above the current 40-90% levels. Having tests that can't be trusted aren't any more helpful than flipping a coin. When the tests are as accurate and easy as a pregnancy test, then it will make sense. https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/06/antibody-testing-suggests-immune-response-post-covid-is-very-variable/ Rewarding test makers with payments for inaccurate results shouldn't happen.

When the tests can be trusted, having recent results required for group activities makes perfect sense.

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theFu - it isn't false. Getting tested and being found negative doesn't make any assumptions about the following days and weeks. Your assumption is a single scenario, and although it may be correct, it doesn't allow for those that test negative and don't stay home or have more than zero external interactions. The testing negative is not the protection... the other measures are.

As for the question... I'm all for regular testing if the means are there to do it, and I agree with theFu.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't oppose regular testing, but governments would need to clarify who would pay for the tests, who should be tested regularly and how regularly. Especially in a high-population country like Japan, the health system would soon be overwhelmed by the sheer number of tests needed. No it's not really a practical solution. Better off to test people in high-risk groups and frontline workers first.

yaga537Today  07:13 am JST

Additionally, the increase in number of tests will clearly lead to the number of infection skyrocketing, stirring people's fear and it will bring about further economic recession. 

Cat's already out of the bag, I'm afraid. When governments and mainstream media selectively report infection numbers, for whatever reason, without sufficient context such as the ratio of asymptomatic infectees, mildly and heavily symptomatic patients and deaths, the rate of co-morbidities of infected patients and whether patients died of or with COVID-19, people can't make decisions based on accurate information. That's assuming they understand the information, not whether they even care. As a result, we get the chain reaction of events that have lead to crippling the global economy.

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What people? doctors and nurses in charge of vulnerable patients and that have constant close contact with other people? yes.

People in relative isolation that for whatever reason were in contact with someone that later was identified as positive? no.

The purpose of a test is to define if a person suspicious to be infected has the virus at that moment (and need to be isolated and in vigilance for symptoms/complications), or if it can still be treated only as suspicious until it can be safely considered as not infected (for example when two weeks have passed since the last time he could have been infected).

People that are regularly at risk definitely benefit from knowing if they are positive or just may be positive. Then they can take preventive actions soon and also their own contacts can be traced and checked. People that are in no special situation (testing at random for example) will only know that they are not likely to be spreading the virus at that moment or the recent past. Not much point in them being regularly tested.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In an ideal Japan? Regular testing for everyone.

In the meantime, regular testing for people most at risk. Hospital staff, patients, the elderly, people with poor immune systems, people in care homes, prisons, the homeless etc.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

yes of course. People should be tested regularly and it should be free. frequent mandatory testing should be in place for health care providers, civil servants and educational institutions for staff and and students alike.

but that's not enough. the gov should encourage people to work from home as much as possible, and to implement certain guidelines for social distancing that disrupt the daily life of people as little as possible. restaurants and izakaya should have partitions and if possible, private rooms only (個室)

small but significant measures can go a long way to keeping us safe.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Only if they choose to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry folks - I was too quick to write "false" - because the premise wasn't good and didn't mention anything about test accuracy problems. Assuming:

tests are 98+% accurate (there are many different tests types, some better for early onset and some better for after-the-fact carriers, some are worse than flipping a coin)

tests are cheap


people have "some" risk factors for being infected,

then testing prior to interaction with others is responsible.

There are many people (most people?) at much higher risk of becoming infected than us. We've been "bunker living" since early March - only been out within 20m of other people 3 times total.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

False Negative Tests for SARS-CoV-2 Infection are posing a real problem. Diagnostic tests (typically involving a nasopharyngeal swab) can be inaccurate in two ways. A false positive result erroneously labels a person infected, with consequences including unnecessary quarantine and contact tracing. False negative results are more consequential, because infected persons — who might be asymptomatic — may not be isolated and can infect others. We still know so very little about this virus. Always error on the side of caution.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Test and track.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

BIG 'What if' scenario. I am not biting.

People are reporting here on JT that you cannot get tested for love nor money, even if you are obviously ill.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just FYI, a single PCR test costs an individual about 5,000 JPY on insurance, 15,000 JPY without insurance coverage; a weekly regular testing costs minimum 20,000 JPY per month.

Free testing programs financed by state will end up further burdening local taxpayers (independently of whether and how often they take tests). If you get tested, you or someone else must pay for it. There's no free lunch. People may hate to face this economic aspect with regard to the corona virus, but let's think realistic. Otherwise, the current forum question is nearly futile.

Not to mention there is the problem of testing reliability. A negative result is only a snapshot with about 30% chance of error.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This question is irrelevant in Japan. Getting the test is like striking it lucky in the lottery.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The presence of Covid-19 RNA in ones blood means infection which together with flu symptoms could mean that treatment is necessary ie hospitalisation.

The antibody test would confirm the presence of antibodies meaning that you have had it and have had no symptoms or that cough that was perhaps present in April was the virus.

It depends on which ‘test’ is taken.

For international travel, involving the crossing of borders then surely testing before and after travel is necessary?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is an excellent opportunity to further develop telemedicine.

Diabetics have been self-testing for decades, and the likes of Omron (whose former president died from Covid-19 in April) have the experience in democratising medical devices, with their cheap-as-chips BP monitors. Appify the whole experience, and incentivise use with, say, 100 T-card points for each anonymous, weekly test.

Those who test positive can be further incentivised to receive treatment/self-isolate, with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 'strongly requesting' that organisations support their people to ensure no social or career penalty ensues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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