Gibraltar Must Step Up Its Covid-19 Testing

Leo Olivero
Gibraltar Must Step Up Its Covid-19 Testing

‘Without testing there is no Data’

There exist, some enigma surrounding the important issue of testing for Covid-19. For weeks, in my Panorama reports I have been critical how testing programmes have been slow to really get going, even after being told the opposite, at daily Covid briefings from 6 Convent Place.

I highlighted, how this important testing procedure has increasingly become a growing concern. Though not only in Gibraltar, but in the UK and in many other places.

UK Ignored ‘WHO’ Warnings For Mass Community Testing

This point, confirmed last week, when UK reports verified that UK Public Heath planners reportedly ignored warnings from the ‘World Health Organisation’ (WHO) to prepare for mass testing!

‘Reports last week, in sections of the UK media, also confirmed that in an advisory document WHO recommended countries to prepare for mass testing in the event of an influenza outbreak because ‘accurate case detection requires the testing of large numbers of samples.’

But in fact, Professor Graham Medley, the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies or SPI-M, admitted, the decision to not prepare for community testing ‘may have been a mistake.’ “Mass public testing has never been our (UK) strategy for any pandemic that I’m aware of”.

Professor Medley further added, “The current problem is based upon the fact that we didn’t invest in preparedness before all this happened. We always knew that when it came to a pandemic it was a case of when, not if”. adding, “Testing can be extremely powerful and we now desperately need it at a population level to be able to understand what’s going on”.

Professor Medley, advises the UK government he also gives expert advice to the UK Department of Health and Social Care and wider UK government on scientific matters relating to the UK’s response from an influenza pandemic (or other emerging human infectious disease threats). The advice is based on infectious disease modelling and epidemiology.