Some GPs in Denmark say patients are presenting at their surgeries with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 without having first taken a test for the coronavirus.
Doctors therefore ask all patients to take a test as the first port of call when feeling under the weather.
“If you have Covid symptoms, you should get a test. And if you have to go to the doctor with symptoms like this, doctors will want you to take a test before going,” said Doctor Jørgen Skadborg, director of the association for GPs in Denmark, Praktiserende Lægers Organisation (PLO).
“One (important) thing is to not be running around in society infecting with Covid,” Skadborg explained.
“But if you think at some point that you need to see a doctor, you should get a step ahead by having a Covid-19 test in advance instead of finding that the doctor prescribes a Covid-19 test. Then there might be a day’s delay before you can be seen by the doctor,” he said.
The head of the Danish GP’s association also encouraged patients to continue using facemasks during doctors’ visits.
Denmark ended mandatory use of facemasks in almost all public places, with the notable exception of airports, in September as the country’s coronavirus restrictions were fully lifted.
But the Danish Health Authority continues to recommend either a mask or visor be used in waiting rooms as a consideration towards other patients with respiratory symptoms.
“We are having problems with people not understanding that there’s still a facemask requirement at your doctor’s surgery,” Skadborg said.
The call for increased testing was also made by Anders Beich, coronavirus spokesperson with PLO as well as the Danish College of General Practitioners (Dansk Selskab for Almen Medicin, DSAM).
“It’s very important for us to make clear that you should be tested, preferably at an early stage, if you get a fever, sore throat, or cough. Because that’s how we can find the few people who can infect the many,” Beich told broadcaster TV2.