Up to 2,000 teachers could be tested for Covid-19 per day when schools reopen
When primary schools reopen in two weeks, between 1,500 and 2 thousand teachers and childcare workers with Covid-19 symptoms could be tested for the coronavirus per day, according to the Diagnostics Task Force. The task force is in charge of collecting scarce testing materials on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health, NOS reports.
The task force estimates that around 10 thousand coronavirus tests can be done every day from May 11. That number can be maintained for several months. Currently, around 7 thousand tests are performed on a daily basis, and only on healthcare workers and vulnerable patients.
Ten thousand tests per day is not yet enough for masse testing in the Netherlands - one of the conditions that the Outbreak Management Team set before coronavirus measures can be relaxed. At the end of March, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health announced that test capacity would be increased to 17,500 by mid-April. And Dutch labs can now do up to 29 thousand tests a day, if they run 24/7. But "the availability of test materials remain a limiting factor", De Jonge said in a letter to parliament.
For the tests, a patient's throat and nasal mucus is collected with a cotton swab, and then examined in a laboratory. If the patient tests positive for the coronavirus, they must be quarantined until they've been completely symptom free for 24 hours.