COVID-19 is still spreading worldwide, with 240 million verified cases and 4.8 million reported deaths in nearly 200 countries. The United States, India and Brazil have the most confirmed cases, followed by the United Kingdom, Russia and Turkey. Few locations have remained untouched. COVID-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, but the outbreak quickly spread around the world in the early months of 2020. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared it a global pandemic. When an infectious disease spreads rapidly from person to person in different parts of the world at the same time, it is called a pandemic.

COVID-19 testing must continue as communities reopen to control the spread of the disease, so people are encouraged to book a COVID test. The COVID-19 testing has progressed significantly. Even if you feel well, you should test yourself regularly at home. About a third of those infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms, but they can infect others. Experts have learned enough about this virus in a short time to detect its existence with a simple test. With so many different types of test choices available, many issues have arisen about the accuracy of the tests and even when a COVID test is required. Today we try to answer those questions for you. Let’s start at the top…

Who should be tested?

The reaction varies depending on several factors, including: symptoms of a person, exposure history and underlying risk factors for serious disease. Anyone experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should isolate themselves and contact their doctor or a local testing center to schedule a test. Many patients have moderate symptoms, and determining whether they are caused by COVID-19 will become more challenging as other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, begin to circulate in the fall and winter months. Still, tests can help you figure out if your symptoms are caused by COVID-19 so you can take steps to avoid infecting others.

COVID testing explained

What types of tests are there?

Molecular or PCR testing – These tests involve drawing mucus from the back of your throat or deep into your nose. The sample is then sent to a lab to be analyzed for the specific genetic material of the virus. COVID-19 testing is more accurate with molecular testing. However, because a lab has to examine the test, it may take longer for you to receive your test results.

Antigen or Rapid Testing – Rapid testing uses the same smear technique as molecular testing, but without any lab or laboratory equipment. This will allow you to receive your results sooner. If you go to a drive-thru testing center, you’re more likely to get a quick test. While these tests are very accurate at detecting COVID antigens, it can take some time for these antigens to show up in your system. This indicates that you may be infected with COVID, but have a negative result from the rapid antigen test.

Test sites are getting busier as the number of cases increases. As a result, delays in test results are common. While you are waiting for test results, pretend you are infected with COVID. You don’t need another test to confirm if you have COVID-19 if you have a positive test result. All diagnostic tests for the virus are correct and you should isolate yourself from others until your doctor releases you. If you have COVID symptoms and a negative result from a rapid test, your doctor may order a molecular test to confirm the results and keep you isolated while the testing reveals whether you have COVID-19 or not.

Repeat testing

A negative test result indicates that you were not infected with the new coronavirus when your sample was taken. However, suppose you are tested in the early stages of the disease before the virus shows up. In that case, you may still be infected even if your test results are negative. Therefore, even if you have a negative test result during this time, if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should self-quarantine and watch for the development of symptoms in the 14 days after exposure. In addition, even if your test results are negative, you could later contract the coronavirus and need to be retested.

There are 67 high-income countries, 103 middle-income countries, and 26 low-income countries among the 196 countries and territories that provide vaccinations and release rollout data. Overall, China and India delivered the most doses, with 2.2 billion and 980 million doses, respectively. With over 400 million people, the United States is in third place. However, when the numbers are broken down into doses per 100 people per country, with populations of at least one million people, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay come out on top.

Most countries give priority to the over 60s, health professionals and clinically vulnerable patients. Some countries have received more vaccine doses than their populations need. Others, on the other hand, especially in low-income countries, rely on Covax’s global plan to ensure everyone worldwide has access to a vaccine.