It’s time to end PCR over-testing – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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It’s time to end PCR over-testing

Testing time: the Covid-19 test centre at the Perot Post Office in Hamilton (Photograph supplied)

Dear Sir,

Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, and I find myself still unable to answer what I feel is a relatively straightforward question: Who exactly is benefiting from the government’s mandated PCR over-testing [and over-quarantining] regime?

Clearly, it’s not our students or their parents or their teachers.

It’s not international business who donate to fund antigen testing for public-school students [and teachers] to help prevent scenarios like botched school re-openings.

It’s not our residents travelling overseas having to pay more to change itineraries and/or schedule emergency PCR tests on account of delayed results.

It’s not our visitors [and residents] who must contend with an inconvenient and expensive travel experience just for the privilege of passing through our airport.

It’s not the Bermudians whose livelihoods have been built around the hospitality sector. As a related aside, the Premier recently stated that we should expect the Travel Authorization Form to remain in force until at least April of 2023; a clever strategy for any country whose goal is to experience yet another abysmal year for tourism in 2022.

No doubt the Premier will receive full support from the Minister of Tourism and the BTA’s Chief Executive on this one.

Despite all the above, and despite widespread, convenient, and relatively inexpensive antigen test availability, the government continues to stick to the wicket with PCR over-testing and extended quarantining as though it’s the only option.

Perhaps I’m being too sceptical, and maybe there is nothing more to all this than run-of-the-mill bureaucratic incompetence and complete lack of foresight that over the years we have come to know and expect and - since it’s the PLP and not the OBA we’re talking about here - accept.

However, with so many Bermudians, residents and visitors being adversely affected by this over-testing regime, I can’t help but remain curious as to who exactly is benefiting from its continuation when it does not appear to be benefiting anyone.

DAVID TAVARES

Southampton

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Published January 14, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated January 14, 2022 at 7:56 am)

It’s time to end PCR over-testing

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