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COVID-19 Daily Testing Dropping in US, AP Reports

By VOA News August 05, 2020

Daily testing for the coronavirus in the United States is falling, even while the death toll rises, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The number of tests has dropped nearly 4 percent over the past two weeks, AP reported.

Experts said demand has overburdened laboratories that carry out the highly accurate molecular tests that detect the genetic code of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

These tests can give results in as little as two days.

The experts are calling for a different test that people can do themselves and get results in just minutes, but the scientists say those tests are not as reliable. They include a do-it-yourself test where a patient would spit on a special piece of paper that changes color if the results is positive.

But federal regulators say such tests could be highly unreliable.

"I don't think that would do a service to the American public of having something that is wrong seven out of 10 times," Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Brett Giroir said. "I think that could be catastrophic."

Meanwhile, Russian authorities said Wednesday they are expanding their express COVID-19 testing to Moscow's two other major airports after carrying out the tests at Sheremetyevo, Russia's busiest airport.

Authorities said the tests can yield results in just an hour.

Facebook on Wednesday took down a post by President Donald Trump because it said the post spread misinformation about the coronavirus.

"This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19, which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation," a Facebook spokesman said.

The post included a link to a Fox News video where Trump says children are "virtually immune" to the virus.

This is the first time one of the president's COVID-related posts has been deleted from Facebook. Twitter also has demanded the White House remove the video from its account.

Studies show that while children are less likely to become infected with the coronavirus and their symptoms tend to be milder, they are not immune and can still spread the virus to others.

Gambia has imposed a three-week overnight curfew after the number of COVID-19 cases jumped 60 percent in just one week.

Gambia is mainland Africa's smallest nation and has also had the lowest number of coronavirus deaths – 16.

Gambian officials said people had become lax about social distancing and other preventive measures.

Four government ministers and the vice president are among those who have tested positive in recent weeks.

The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the government must take steps to stop the coronavirus from spreading to the Indigenous population.

The justices gave authorities 30 days to come up with a plan that includes keeping outsiders from protected Indigenous communities.

Indigenous groups demanded more protection, saying the coronavirus could wipe out some tribes and accusing President Jair Bolsonaro of not taking the outbreak seriously.

The family of Chief Aritana Yawalapiti, one of Brazil's most influential Indigenous leaders and leader of the people of Upper Xingu in central Brazil, died Wednesday of COVID-19.

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