Swab Confusion?

Iceland Shows the Way in Community Testing

Leo Olivero

Yesterday, in part one of this article ‘More Ways of Skinning the Coronavirus Cat’ I explained in detail there was no intention in the report of criticising the handling of the on-going health crises. I say again, efforts so far to protect and prepare Gibraltar, even for the worse, have been commendable.

However, I did point out, that certain important measures like the testing for coronavirus was a concern, as programmes had been slow to take off, and it was only now that test programmes were being announced.

In fact, the testing for COVID-19 has turned into an important issue internationally. America, Spain and the UK and throughout Europe, Governments are being criticised daily for the handling of the crises regarding the C-19 test of nationals.

Testing Testing and More Testing

In my report yesterday, I highlighted, the few testing programmes which so far had been introduced. Also, pointing out that facts and figures and related information had also been sparse. Programmes, which would have improved the quality of important data presented to the public on how the virus was spreading and what effects it was having on society.

Acknowledging the comments by the Chief Minister in Monday’s press conference. When the CM replying to a Panorama question on the testing issue, Mr Picardo said, ‘that 570 test had been conducted with a further 350 test expected every week, additionally, the drive-thru testing centre is also expected to do a further 50 test a week, the CM highlighting, that he thought that 750 in week was a meaningful share of the population and Gibraltar was starting to get a good sense of the prevalence of the virus locally’.

With respect to the Chief Minister, Gibraltar is not quite there yet. I certainly don’t think we are anywhere near having a solid grasp or understanding on the virus and how it is affecting the Rock, or if and when the virus is really going to make its presence known. This point, confirmed, by the ‘bare-bone figures’ presented everyday at the daily press conference. Stand-alone figures that are not broken down into specific social category like age, sex or any cohort or demographic grouping.

In my opinion, the number of ‘new’ cases reported daily in Gibraltar. are really not new, they are probably newly discovered as Gibraltar as just started to test more. But testing, is still inadequate. It obviously must be suspected, after the many warnings of mass cases which eventually will affect Gibraltar.

Iceland Shows the Way in Community Testing

As the pandemic surges worldwide, each piece of data must count in the fight against the deadly virus. With the latter thought in mind, and scanning the globe to discover wants happening elsewhere, particularly on the issue of ‘testing’. An unlikely, source of information appeared from another small nation, much like Gibraltar, although with a larger population, Iceland in fact.

Important findings, about the Coronavirus is coming from this small island situated far out in the North Atlantic. In this small Island state, the authorities are testing large numbers of the population without imposing any lockdown or curfew.

Iceland, appears to have taken advantage of being a small nation, much like Gibraltar, and started carrying out large-scale testing among the public.