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Michael, that’s an excellent link, and I thoroughly agree with your observations beneath it.
Testing was eventually deployed, but where was the economic help for the poor and the vulnerable? It is impossible for anyone to take advantage of a test if they have to work or starve, or if there’s no quarantine refuge so they can protect those with whom they share housing.
– “I think the main purpose was for the government/NHS to make strategic decisions.”
I agree, that is how it was used in the UK, whereas in New Zealand, Australia, China and various islands it was used with trace-and-test to suppress community transmission.
In suppression using trace-and-test, the correct number of tests is “enough to test everyone potentially exposed”, and it can be relatively low. In strategic management, it’s “the more, the better”, because more tests always yield more detail of where the virus is spreading and within which demographics.
Strategic management is more expensive than suppression using trace-and-test in every way. It costs more lives, more hospital resources, more tests, more damage to the economy, more time spent under lockdown.