Why next seven days the game changer for Qld
A NORTH Brisbane doctor, managing one of the regions' COVID-19 testing clinics says community faces a watershed moment over the next seven days as widespread testing gets under way.
Nundah Village Family Practice Respiratory Clinic director Dr Anuj Gupta said the Queensland Health decision to expand testing criteria to the community at large was a "game changer".
"What this will allow us to do is see the true incidence in the community of COVID-19 which is very important because that will dictate what happens next," Dr Gupta said.
"I am hoping that community testing will show there is not that much in community and that the numbers we have currently and the flattening is correct but if community testing indicates an increase that would be concerning."
From today the Nundah-based respiratory clinic on Sandgate Rd is taking bookings to test, for coronavirus, all patients who are exhibiting upper respiratory tract symptoms, including a cough, fever or sore throat.
Until today the clinic had been open to those with respiratory symptoms but not all patients were being tested for the coronavirus only those who met the strict criteria which included having travelled overseas and being in contact with someone who had been diagnosed with the virus.
"The reality is that there have been a lot of positive cases every day, since we opened, and a lot of those have been return travellers," Dr Gupta said.
He confirmed the positive coronavirus patients had come from across Brisbane and were not exclusively from Brisbane's northside suburbs.
"We would encourage patients not to feel lost or that they cannot see a doctor if they have concerns or symptoms," Dr Gupta said.
"Get tested. The less cases we have in community the better. The quicker we diagnose the less the number of contacts with others."
Dr Gupta said the true number of cases would only be known after the expanded testing.
"In a week we will know the extent of the coronavirus in community," he said.
"This is the big game changer."
Dr Gupta urged anyone with upper respiratory symptoms to be tested.
He said coronavirus symptomatology included shortness of breath, cough, fever as well as loss of taste and slight loss of bowels.
"If you are experiencing these symptoms you must come and get tested," he said.
Originally published as Why next seven days the game changer for Qld