A town in Italy, one country worst hit by the Covid19 virus, has completely halted the spread there. How? According to an article in the Guardian (March 18, 2020), the city of Vo tested everyone, symptoms or not, and were thus able to sequester only the people who had the virus.
The small town of Vò, in northern Italy, where the first coronavirus death occurred in the country, has become a case study that demonstrates how scientists might neutralise the spread of Covid-19.
A scientific study, rolled out by the University of Padua, with the help of the Veneto Region and the Red Cross, consisted of testing all 3,300 inhabitants of the town, including asymptomatic people. The researchers explained they had tested the inhabitants twice and that the study led to the discovery of the decisive role in the spread of the coronavirus epidemic of asymptomatic people.
When the study began, on 6 March, there were at least 90 infected in Vò. For days now, there have been no new cases.
“We were able to contain the outbreak here, because we identified and eliminated the ‘submerged’ infections and isolated them,” Andrea Crisanti, an infections expert at Imperial College London, who took part in the Vò project, told the Financial Times. “That is what makes the difference.” (Read more)
The best way we have to stop the virus pandemic is to test everyone. Vo tested every person in the town twice. The current recommendation (test only those who show symptoms) given the fact that this virus is being spread by those without symptoms, is a recipe for disaster which will result in millions of needless deaths.
We can also look at how well aggressive testing worked in South Korea. The country happened to have done a drill the month before, so they were ready when the outbreak hit.
South Korea reacted to the crisis with vigor, deploying a range of legal, medical, technological and public communication efforts. Buttressing prior experience with SARS and MERS, the KCDC – by coincidence – conducted a table-top exercise on a coronavirus outbreak in December 2019. As a result, officials were fully prepared when the novel coronavirus hit the nation the following month.
Telephone consulting services, drive-through test centers and thermal cameras – which, set up in buildings and public places to detect fever, swiftly came online. South Korea has undertaken approximately 190,000 tests thus far, according to KCDC Deputy Director General Kwon Jun-wook, and has the capacity to undertake 20,000 per day. Turnaround times are six-24 hours.
Tests are highly affordable. “The test kit is about $130, and about half is covered by insurance the other half by individual,” Kwon said. Those who test positive get the test free, “So there is no reason for suspected cases to hide their symptoms,” he said. (Read More)
How fast can America create 100’s of millions of tests? Let’s do it. Existing factories can be converted temporarily to the effort as ordered by the old 1950 Defense Production Act which the president has already activated. We don’t have to wait for a test to be available to everyone. We can start right away with the tests we have. We can create virus free zones where everyone in them has been tested and no one is allowed in without a test. Easy solution. Pass it on.