Better testing for a COVID-19 exit strategy
Bulletin 105 | Gordon Woo
Vaccines alone cannot resolve the COVID-19 crisis. We need to follow the virus, not just the disease: this requires a fully functioning NHS Testing and Tracing system (NHSTT) to contain outbreaks. New variants with increased infectiousness have made this more important.
There is reason to hope that a fully functioning NHSTT can be established in 2021. Measures recommended by SAGE behavioural scientists to encourage compliance with isolation and quarantine can be adopted, and technological advances in diagnostic testing can increase the capacity and speed of testing.
Ideally, an instant, accurate and low-cost test is needed for a robust COVID-19 exit strategy. Recent developments in aptamer research offer hope that such a test may arrive this year.