Eighty-five per cent of Australians with cold or flu-like symptoms were yet to get tested for Covid-19, despite persistent government requests to do so even if there were minor symptoms of the virus, a survey released on Friday revealed.
According to the data collected between early to mid-August, most of those people reported were reluctant to get tested because they didn't think they had coronavirus or that their symptoms were too mild for a test, reports Xinhua news agency.
The survey was in the seventh wave of data collection of the Survey of Covid-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB), conducted by Australia's Monash University in partnership with the government of Victoria state.
Lead researcher Peter Slattery from the university said he was concerned with the results and urged people to take immediate action to avoid spreading the virus.
"Covid-19 affects people in different ways and some people do only develop mild symptoms or may be asymptomatic," Slattery said.
"Getting tested, even if you don't believe you have Covid-19. It is so important to stopping the spread."
The survey also showed although 88 per cent of respondents were reported to follow social distance rules in public, in school or the workplace, less Australians followed the same rules when they are with their family and friends in private places.
Slattery stressed it was important to practice the Covid-19 safe rules both publicly and privately, citing the latest outbreak in Victoria, which sent the state back into lockdown.
"Family and friends may be asymptomatic and as we can see from Victoria, Covid-19 spreads at an exponential rate, particularly among close contacts," he said.
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