WHO emphasizes, both people who show symptoms of illness, such as cough, flu or fever, or those who do not show symptoms or are asymptomatic.
This follows an update of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, regarding unnecessary testing when people may have been exposed to Covid-19 from positive people.
As reported CNN, Wednesday (26/8/2020), the change in CDC guidelines was considered confusing to doctors.
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Because, in the Covid-19 testing guidelines, the CDC says some people without symptoms may not need to be tested, if they have been in close contact with someone who is infected with the virus.
ER doctor and professor of public health at George Washington University, Dr Leana Wen, said the changes to testing guidelines submitted by the CDC did not make sense.
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“It is precisely these (people who are suspected of being exposed to Covid-19) who should be tested,” said Dr Wen.
These changes to guidelines, according to a senior federal health official, are the result of pressure from the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Regarding the guidelines for testing for the corona virus, the CDC website previously wrote that the test is recommended for all close contact of people with SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. Due to the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission that may occur.
However, on Monday, the guidelines were updated, stating that if a person has close contact with a distance of 1.5-2 meters with someone who is infected with Covid-19, for at least 15 minutes but has no symptoms, there is no need for testing.
In response to this, the WHO Covid-19 technical leader, Maria Van Kerkhove did not mention the specific US situation, as reported from Science Alert quoted from AFP, Friday (28/8/2020).
WHO has recommended that if there is contact with someone who is confirmed positive for Covid-19, then if possible a test is carried out, regardless of the development of symptoms experienced.
“We know that people who have symptoms can be contagious, and we know that people who don’t have symptoms can also transmit the virus,” explained Van Kerkhove.
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Guidelines for handling this global pandemic by WHO have been developed, and have delegated the authority for testing strategies to individual countries.
Data on positive cases of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the world based on Worldometer currently has reached more than 24.6 million cases, with a death rate of 835,679 cases.
Van Kerkhove said the focus of Covid-19 testing is on those who experience symptoms, especially when investigating groups of cases, so testing may need to be expanded.
“Most importantly, the test is used as an opportunity to find active cases, so that they can be isolated and can also be done contact tracing. This is very important to break the chain of transmission (corona virus transmission), “he explained.