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Other Countries Are Loosening Restrictions While Joe Biden Ramps Up Covid Testing | Must Read!

Other nations are reconsidering their pandemic precautions and easing limitations for people who return positive tests, prompting the White House to ask for more Americans to test at home for COVID-19.

Most people with health insurance plans may access free over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests starting Saturday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

President Joe Biden announced the decision in December, in response to complaints about lengthy waits for limited testing kits outside pharmacies and other locations.

Biden also said that his government has placed an order for 500 million testing kits, which he confessed he wished he had placed “two months earlier,” though no information on when they will be delivered has been released.

On January 4, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was questioned if the testing kit deployment would be too late to halt the Omicron wave, which, according to The Washington Post, may peak in the middle of January and begin to fall by the end of the month.

According to one expert, even if the increased number of testing kits arrives after the peak, Americans would still benefit from the increased number of testing kits, especially given the disease’s long-term prognosis.

“Having ubiquitous testing available in the US will be vital as individuals increasingly want to know their status before social contacts,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

It’s also crucial, he said Newsweek, “because we’ve enhanced the availability of an antiviral with a short window of benefit for which rapid testing will be vital.”

“As we get closer to endemicity, testing will become less important,” he said.

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More:- Covid Omicron News: Experts Predict the Us Is on the Verge of Reaching Omicron’s Peak!

“However, I believe that the momentum for at-home testing should be maintained and expanded to include additional illnesses like as influenza, strep throat, mono, and RSV [Respiratory Syncytial Virus].”

However, Leana Wen, an emergency physician and George Washington University professor of health policy and management, said Biden’s major pronouncements on enhanced testing raised some questions.

“Half a billion tests seem like a lot, but it’s not even enough to give every American two exams,” she told Newsweek.

“Insurance reimbursement complicates matters excessively, and many Americans will find finding testing, paying out of pocket, and then submitting for reimbursement a huge hurdle.”

“The federal government needs to do a lot more to buy tests and provide them to Americans directly.”

More:- 138,326 Americans Hospitalised With Covid-19 in the Aftermath of the Omicron Outbreak

The focus on testing in the United States coincides with the British government’s denial of a Sunday Times claim that it was planning to eliminate free home tests due to cost concerns and confine them to high-risk environments such as care homes, hospitals, and schools.

The British Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, later stated that it was “difficult to anticipate” how long the free tests would be available.

Meanwhile, as data reveals that Omicron is less likely to fill hospital beds, European governments are debating how to reduce isolation measures and focus on boosting their economies while ensuring that important personnel is not displaced by the disease.

The Czech Republic announced last week that following a positive COVID-19 exam, important personnel including physicians and teachers would be allowed to return to work.

In the last three weeks, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Belgium have shortened quarantine periods and reduced some of the criteria for infected workers to return to work, indicating a shift in strategy for combating the pandemic in 2022.

The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency said on Tuesday that most patients who test positive for COVID-19 do not require a more complete PCR test to confirm their diagnosis.

Portugal, which has one of the highest COVID-19 immunization rates in the world, said this week that persons who have gotten booster injections can follow less stringent isolation guidelines when exposed to the virus.

Also Read:- Covid Omicron News: Experts Predict the Us Is on the Verge of Reaching Omicron’s Peak!

The CDC reduced the period spent in isolation for asymptomatic persons who test positive for COVID-19 from ten to five days at the end of last month.

It’s better to focus on controlling illness rather than avoiding it, according to Rafael Bengoa of Bilbao’s Institute for Health and Strategy.

The onus should be on “examining the progress of this sickness with new standards than we have had till now,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Cadena SER radio.

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