Last chance to take our survey: Are the rules for coronavirus testing too restrictive?
As the coronavirus crisis escalates, attention has turned to the criteria for testing patients, especially as the WHO urges all countries to "test, test, test".
The Chief Medical Officer has urged GPs to strictly adhere to testing criteria to protect "rapidly diminishing" supplies of swabs and reagents.
His current advice is that tests should be restricted to anyone who has:
Travelled from overseas in the 14 days before developing fever OR acute respiratory infection (eg, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat) with or without fever.
Anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case, with symptoms listed above.
Exceptional cases that can be tested are severe, bilateral community-acquired pneumonia with no other cause identified as well as any healthcare worker with direct patient contact who has a fever (37.5 or above) AND an acute respiratory