TV doctor shares thoughts on misinformation and the accuracy of testing kits
Ghosh Medical Group assisting keyworkers in crisis
One of Liverpool’s most high-profile doctors has revealed his thoughts on Covid19, the misinformation around the accuracy of testing kits and how his firm Ghosh Medical Group are helping in the crisis.
Dr Arun Ghosh, admits it’s difficult to think about returning back to a normal life at present but says “the country will move on and hopefully learn from this issue.
“We’ve heard a lot about testing and PPE. The main issues around both of course, is lack of it. Testing front line staff, their families and key workers to check on their safety along with the wider community is a proven way to calculate the numbers of the virus in particular areas and ultimately to get better control. Without this we just won’t know if we are winning this battle or not. We’re basically fighting in the dark.
Dr Ghosh explained that there are two types of testing currently – the PCR mouth and nasal swab kit, highly accurate for diagnosing Corona often with 100% accuracy.
“But, it doesn’t always tell you if you have immunity or if you’ve had the condition. It also may not be the right type of test in people without symptoms. This is an excellent test for those who are working on the front line or anyone who has symptoms. The test however takes time to return and we are limited with the amount of laboratory space we have in the UK.
“The second we heard about was the blood antigen and antibody test – which though not as accurate tells you whether you may have had Corona or not. This is far more practical for the widespread community testing we will require as it gives us not only numbers of cases but also the ability to see whether someone can return to work or not.”
Dr Ghosh maintains that the issue has been the government purchased unreliable tests and many fake kits also hit the UK market leaving the general public feeling very sceptical about this type of testing.
“It seems overnight that lots of different types of testing centres have been opened up by people trying to cash in on the crisis in spite of not being regulated.”
Dr Ghosh cites how the Germans have been getting their testing right by manufacturing their own blood kits which have been 98.9% accurate.
“These are the type of kits we should be looking at and following our European partner’s example of how testing widespread is an important tactic for beating COVID-19.
“Prevention is always going to be better than cure and appropriate PPE is going to be essential for anyone who was going back to work in the near future.”
Speaking about the potential of a second peak, he adds:
“The government are right to be concerned about a second wave of this virus and if we are to re-open our economy, we must make sure we do this safely. The threat to many lives and our economy are obvious.
“Companies considering opening up again must make sure that staff have appropriate PPE. It’s been heart breaking to watch what’s happening to our front-line staff especially as the calls for PPE don’t appear to have been answered and yet we are expecting people to go into work with such poor equipment.
“My worry here is that many companies won’t know what would be appropriate for them to use or purchase or that the items they do purchase are not fit for use as again, many counterfeit items are appearing on websites.”
The Ghosh Medical Group has been busy helping key workers across a wide variety of sectors who have had to carry on working as key workers.
“We’ve been helping to provide appropriate testing, fit-for-purpose PPE as well as advice on how to manage employees who may be presenting with symptoms. This includes contact tracing and helping those who they have been in contact with too.
“We all have a duty of care to look after each other at this time and that’s the case even more so for companies expecting their employees to go back to work.
“I admit that I’ve been taken aback by how many and how diverse, the essential key worker sector is.
“For example, we recently helped a pallet company who needed to continue producing the pallets. Everything from medicines to baby milk is delivered on a pallet and nothing in bulk could be delivered unless this company could continue producing the pallets. There are many examples of this that we can give of essential work that needs to be maintained to keep Britain going. Many of these companies may not have been classed as keyworkers previously neither would they have sought our help.”
Chris Reynolds of The Reynolds Group echoed Dr. Ghosh’s sentiments:
“We are a key working company and it was vital we kept working through this current crisis to supply food and pharmaceuticals to the whole of the UK. The testing we did with Ghosh Medical Group really helped keep the right staff in work and isolate those at risk. This made us all feel safer in work and has kept us going through the pandemic.”
Dr Ghosh concluded: “We all have a part to play in
this crisis and anyone in the healthcare industry should be doing whatever they
can to keep Britain safe. I’m proud that we are able to offer the right advice,
tests and equipment as part of getting Britain better, healthier and back up on
its feet.” ends