Even with the vaccine, tests will continue to play an essential role (WHO boss)

The World Health Organization (WHO) called this Friday to test each suspected case of Covid-19 and recalled the importance of being tested in the event of symptoms.

“As vaccines are rolled out, testing will continue to play a critical role,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference from Geneva.

According to the director general of the UN agency, as a first step, health workers, the elderly and other groups at risk will be vaccinated as a priority.

Under these conditions, the new coronavirus will therefore still have “a lot of leeway”, and the test will remain “an essential tool for controlling the pandemic”. However, according to Dr. Tedros, if we do not know where the virus is, we cannot stop it. “If you don’t know who is carrying the virus, you cannot isolate it, treat it or trace its contacts,” he argued.

But for the WHO, screening must be “strategic”, in support of clear public health objectives. “Anyone who needs a test should do one,” he insisted, recalling the WHO guidance, which describes how countries can strategically test for their location. transmission scenario.

In this regard, the WHO indicated that several countries in the world have shown that “Covid-19 can be controlled with existing tools”, affirming that one of the points in common to all these countries is the importance given to ” screening “.

Although screening is vital, the UN agency believes that it is only part of the strategy. In addition to the tests, it is also a question of tracing, isolating to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

In general, the WHO believes that “the test is the projector that shows where the virus is”. And within this framework, investments in testing must be matched with investments in isolation facilities, clinical care, protection of health care workers, contact tracing, cluster investigations and “cluster” investigations. sustained quarantine ”.

For the WHO, it is important to have “more and better tests, easy to use, inexpensive, reliable and rapid”, in order to be able to treat patients with Covid-19 and to be able to find the contacts.

MS (with MAP)

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