Dear Orkney News,
I have sent this letter to NHS Orkney.
Hello NHSO we all know you are working arduously to get on top of this outbreak.
Would it be possible for you to consider New Zealand testing measures?
All contacts traced are tested at beginning of their imposed self isolation and again before reengaging with the community .
I just listened to BBC Radio Orkney explaining traced contacts have been required to self isolate, and will be tested should they become symptomatic.
Would the New Zealand duel testing not help you identify the asymptomatic persons traced, and help then identify their contacts , should they test positive?
I only say as you stated in the radio you are only testing should they become symptomatic .
We are a tiny community and numbers are small and manageable and our FM stated she would place lockdown restrictions if necessary.
Please if everything possible from every angle is done could you , our own NHSO save our community from the risk of future lockdown restrictions.
The Asymptomatic carrier of covid is its greatest power , please use your power to find these unknowing victims.
Thank you and thank you for all your efforts .
Yours, Anna Johnston, Orkney
Too good to be true if NHSO were to follow this sensible advice. The decribed proper testing regime does not only apply to New Zealand, similar approaches have been adopted in countries which seem to fare better than Scotland or the UK.
Another problem is that quarantine resp. self-isolation is completely uncontrolled… which may perhaps explain why returning holidaymakers sent their children to school during the quarantine period.
An interesting opinion piece (written by an expert in the field) which is well worth a read, has just been published here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/opinion/coronavirus-europe-vacation.html?searchResultPosition=1
Trust is a good thing but relying on people staying ‘put’, providing really all their contacts etc. in combination with a testing regime that is still insufficient, may simply not be good enough to protect public health and create the preconditions needed to return to any sort of ‘normal’ life in the future.
NHSO needs to get a grip… I also noticed that their publications of case numbers are still lagging behind (still showing numbers up to 3rd of August only and this is the afternoon of the 17th now). Why do we in Orkney have to resort to the media to keep track of up-to-date developments?
This was the Updated Testing Strategy published on the Scottish Government website today 17th of August 2020
“A key development to strengthen surveillance work and help prevent the spread of the virus will be for all contacts of COVID-19 index cases to be offered testing regardless of whether they have symptoms. At present, recent close contacts of those people with a positive test result, are asked to isolate for 14 days. While they will still have to do this, they will now also be advised to get a test, allowing for further contacts to be identified and potential, wider outbreaks contained.”