Testing does a ton to help governments, countries, cities, etc decide how to scale their efforts. Depending on the results, a city could be in the 'ok, we're alright but this might get bad so let's get going' or 'my goodness we've messed this up, we need to lock it all down ASAP.'
I would love to agree with you but I take the exact opposite viewpoint. Unless there is a standardized process with a fully compliant population you will never produce actionable data. People going in randomly (without strict guidelines) generates too many assumptions which dummy down conclusions. Already the misinformation, the politicizing of the virus, and the lack of transparency from the institutions has developed this into a problem. Just look at the results we have so far...
Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, tests, and death toll due to the COVID-19 coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus counter with new cases, deaths, and number of tests per 1 Million population. Historical data and info. Daily...
1. Why would Laos rank 29 in fewest cases per M while Guiana is ranked 152? Laos and Guiana are close in land size and you can fit the entire population of Guiana inside the city of Vientiane. Laos does not have a better health care system than Guiana or least enough of an advantage to create such a disparity (Laos is #155, Guiana is#160 derived from WHO).
2. What good is there in testing? They can't provide you with anything to help you; in fact, if you are sick it will increase your chance of spreading the disease. The age old rule of staying home if you are ill, actually works. You already know you sick or you would not be tested. All the testing does is create animosity among various groups. Example: there is the possible ban on Americans traveling to the EU because the EU feels the USA does not have the Covid-19 under control due to an increase in reported cases. You can't get more cases unless you test which may explain Laos' preferable ranking but it does not explain why Vientiane has 0 deaths and 9 cases while Asuncion, capital of Paraguay has 4 deaths and 93 cases. Both capitals have virtually identical population size of around 500K.
3. Testing just for the sake of testing. This is not allowed unless you show symptoms.
4. It has already been proven that collected information is not handled with care. There are too many conclusions being developed with partial information that is gathered under a non-standardized procedure. Example: When a new case is reported, was it from a recent case, was the person sick for 3 weeks prior to the announcement or was it two weeks? Did the person test positive but showed no signs of illness... and so on. Then when this information is released there is insufficient background of the statistics to be cataloged into more detailed evaluation buckets.
5. If reporting would actual report versus developing biased stories; there would be greater acceptance within the population. If this situation was not politicized and monetized, we could address this in a level headed manner. Since we do not have standardization, since we do not have a professional News Reporting approach, and since we do not have transparency of statistics... it creates what we do have and that is a ball of confusion dominated by parochial interest bombarding the entire world with poorly researched stories and passing them off as "fact".
6. Because of testing, there is an inflation of recorded deaths due to Covid-19. Dr. Birx, of the Trump task force, stated plainly and unhesitatingly that if a person dies with Covid-19, the death is recorded as a Covid-19 death. There is no regard for preexisting conditions... the late great John Prine is a classic example.
Bottom Line: If you fell ill, stay home so others are not infected and then sign up for the Laotian Health Care System.