Coronavirus: Health-care costs, lack of paid sick leave could undermine overall preparedness in US

Radiologists examining CT scans of coronavirus patients from China at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Feb 10, 2020. The high cost of American healthcare, particularly for those who are uninsured or underinsured, may deter potential coronavirus patients from being tested and seeking medical help. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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WASHINGTON - After returning to Miami from a work trip in China last month, Mr Osmel Martinez Azcue developed flu-like symptoms and went to a nearby hospital to get tested for the coronavirus - exactly what health officials have been advising the public to do.

Wary of how much the bill would be, Mr Azcue, who works for a medical devices company, asked for a flu test, instead of the CT scan to screen for coronavirus that the hospital wanted to conduct.

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