Rapid increase of test requests continues, GGD upscale can’t lessen longer wait times
The number of new requests for a coronavirus test in the Netherlands increased by around a thousand a day this past week. Despite health service GGD scaling up, keeping up in the growth remains in question – and waiting times are increasing, NU.nl reported.
Due to the recent increase in demand, it is rare to get an appointment to be tested within 24 hours, and results within 48.
In conversation with NU.nl on Sunday morning, GGD-GHOR, the umbrella organization for the GGDs in the Netherlands, acknowledged that they will continue scaling up until they keep up if this increased demand for testing. "A record number of 20,553 test appointments were made on Friday," GGD-GHOR reported.
Since early this week, people regularly had to wait longer between requesting a test and getting tested. Many people complained about waiting long for test results, because the longer they wait for the results, the longer they can’t go out. A NU.nl reporter even confirmed she waited 75 hours for her test results.
According to GGD-GHOR, a main problem is that the call center team that makes the appointments, also have to call people with their test results. "The requests just go very fast. Then they sometimes have less time to call with the results. At one point, 50 results per minute were called through on Friday. But if 15 thousand people were tested per day, you are very busy with fifty results per minute. " the GGD-GHOR explained.
The spokesperson called it fantastic that the willingness to be tested is soaring.
Recently, around 95% of the tested people got their results after 2 days. "If the number of tests per day goes up, it should be a little less, but it really shouldn't take three, four or five days." The GGD-GHOR spokeswoman said.
The spokesperson could not say why all the people with negative test results have to be called personally, and why the GGDs do not handle this with an automatic e-mail or text message.
"Do not call yourself to ask for the result." She suggested. The operators can’t see all the results. Waiting is the only thing that the tested people can do.