Coronavirus tests to be extended

TheSwiss health authorities consider PCR tests more reliable than blood testing for Covid-19. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

The Swiss health authorities have decided to extend tests for potential coronavirus patients as part of the government’s planned Covid-19 exit strategy.

This content was published on April 22, 2020 - 12:33
swissinfo.ch/ug

All patients with symptoms of an acute respiratory illness, with or without a fever, with muscle pains and loss of taste and smell should be tested according to a statement on Wednesday by the Federal Public Health Office.

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Doctors will also be allowed to test patients in hospitals as well as residents of old people’s homes even if they show no symptoms.

The office said the measures were a precaution to prevent a surge of Covid-19 cases when the government restrictions are to be gradually eased as of next Monday.

At the same time, the health authorities plan to resume a contact tracing policy using an application on mobile phones.

However, the office advises against a broad campaign with blood tests.

Experts argue so-called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests are more reliable. They are based on specimens taken from a patient’s nasal swabs and sputum.

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