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Covid-19: Testing slump sparks fears of virus complacency

Testing times: There has been a fall in the number of people taking the Covid-19 test in recent weeks (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A warning against complacency after a slump in the number of coronavirus tests has been issued by the Government.

Health officials said that people should take a test as the now-available vaccine was “not a cure” and that it could be “many months before the pandemic is over”.

A spokeswoman for the health ministry said that Covid-19 fatigue and complacency could be behind the drop in test numbers since December last year.

She added that a decline in the number of active cases and the availability of a vaccine could have contributed to the fall.

The spokeswoman said: “As our number of positive Covid cases decreases, it does appear that the community is becoming more complacent, generally.

“To a certain extent, this is not surprising in the absence of an outbreak to serve as a catalyst for testing.”

But she added: “The Government is encouraging people to get tested so that they know their status.

“Even with vaccines now being distributed and administered worldwide, it will be many months before the pandemic is considered over.

“The vaccine is not a cure. It does not prevent the virus from entering your body. The vaccine aids your body in fighting the virus so that you don’t become ill, or as ill.”

Government can carry out about 1,200 tests a day at several permanent and pop-up stations.

Test availability was increased at the start of last December when the island was hit by a second wave of cases.

The spokeswoman said that, in addition to nasal swab tests, saliva tests will be available to essential groups such as teachers, emergency services personnel and restaurant workers later this month.

For a list of testing centres and schedules, click here

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Published February 02, 2021 at 10:22 am (Updated February 02, 2021 at 5:33 pm)

Covid-19: Testing slump sparks fears of virus complacency

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