Dutch ignored German offer to provide more coronavirus testing: Report
A German laboratory offered to do up to 5 thousand coronavirus tests for the Netherlands every day, which would nearly double the Netherlands' current daily Covid-19 tests. But so far the Dutch health authorities have decided not to make use of that offer, NOS reports.
"In the coming months, we will have enough materials to carry out around 5 thousand tests for the Netherlands," German virologist Roger Grosser of Labor Dr. Wisplinghoff said to the broadcaster. The large laboratory in Cologne has enough testing materials to perform around 11 thousand tests per day. The German lab offered to let the Netherlands have 5 thousand of these daily tests. The offer was made two weeks ago, according to the broadcaster.
The Diagnostics Task Force, responsible for managing scare test materials for the Ministry of Public Health, confirmed to the broadcaster that it received the offer, but said that extra tests are not necessary as yet. "There is currently more lab capacity than demand for testing. In the longer term, their capacity can make a useful contribution to national testing capacity," a spokesperson for the task force said to NOS.
The Netherlands currently tests around 7 thousand people per day for the coronavirus, mainly healthcare workers and vulnerable patients. As of May 11, testing should increase to 10 thousand per day, so that teachers and childcare staff can be tested when primary schools reopen.
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health recently told parliament that Dutch labs have the capacity to do between 17,500 and 29 thousand coronavirus tests per day, but that available testing materials are the "limiting factor".
Large-scale testing is one of the conditions the Outbreak Management Team set for relaxing the measures in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.