Coronavirus: Yale professor says US dangerously behind on testing as he warns of ‘explosion’ of cases

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'From cancer to coronavirus, there isn't an area of health research or science more broadly that isn't gender blind', writes Ian Hamilton: Alexander Pogozhev/TASS
'From cancer to coronavirus, there isn't an area of health research or science more broadly that isn't gender blind', writes Ian Hamilton: Alexander Pogozhev/TASS

Just a day after US lawmakers voiced their frustration at the slow roll out of coronavirus testing, a Yale professor has warned that the country is on the verge of an "explosion" of cases, but that there is no need to panic.

Professor Howard Forman, a practising radiologist and expert in healthcare management, says that testing for the virus is a key part of controlling its spread and the US is not yet doing enough.

“There is absolutely going to be an explosion in the number of identified cases. But how fast that number increases is highly dependent on how fast we can test,” he told Yale Insights, describing the Trump administration’s promise of 15,000 testing kits as “woefully inadequate”.

He stresses that people need to avoid panicking and that while “the numbers may look gruesome over the next week or so ... these are existing cases that are finally being diagnosed”.

More detection of cases will mean that those carrying the virus can be treated and practise self-isolation. “I am confident that through adequate detection, we will contain this,” he said.

Pointing to isolation tactics and the strengths of the health system, Professor Forman explains at length on Twitter that detection and quarantine are the best ways in which to end community outbreaks.

He also says that global public health agencies have done a great job at communicating the symptoms and the guidelines regarding testing and treatment.

Professor Forman’s comments come as confirmed cases outside of China’s Hubei province have begun to spike across the world. Tests are becoming more widely available and Congress has now agreed to a bipartisan emergency funding package to counter the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday the US had 149 confirmed cases and a death toll of 11 centred on Washington state, with one fatality in California. The US House of Representatives has passed a massive bipartisan emergency funding package to cope with the spread of the virus.

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