Faster testing to check spread of virus

Updated: Oct 28, 2021 China Daily Print
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A medical worker takes a swab sample from a woman for nucleic acid test at a sampling site in Jinfeng district of Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Oct 23, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

The State Council, China's Cabinet, recently issued a notice asking nucleic acid testing centers to provide a 24-hour service. The testing centers have also been asked to test the samples of people who voluntarily submit samples within six hours and inform them of the results.

This is a welcome move as every time new infections are reported, travelers are required to provide a negative nucleic acid test conducted in the preceding 48 hours to prove they are not infected and can travel. Before the new directive, some testing centers used to take up to 30 hours to provide the results, increasing the uncertainties for potential travelers.

Besides, since the testing centers used to work only during office hours, many people had to stand in line for hours, sometimes in the cold, for the test. With the testing centers working round the clock, it will be a lot more convenient for those planning to travel.

In fact, in the past, some infected people couldn't get their test results on time and proceeded on the planned trips and likely infected others. The new arrangement will put an end to such risks.

A shorter testing time also means the timely screening out and quarantining of infected people, which will be a huge advantage in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

But since the new arrangement will increase the burden on medical workers, especially those in pathology laboratories, more people should be trained and employed in the sector.

As the global pandemic situation remains grim and 50 new infections were reported in China on Tuesday, it is necessary to strengthen the nucleic acid testing service to check the further spread of the virus. The faster the tests are completed, the less risks people will face.


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