Amsterdam limits contact tracing as Covid-19 infections soar
In Amsterdam, health service GGD will no longer call all contacts of someone diagnosed with Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused b the coronavirus. Due to the large number of infections in the region, the GGD doesn't have enough employees to fully conduct the source and contact tracing, NOS reports.
GGD Amsterdam hopes to save time by temporarily no longer calling all new Covid-19 patients' contacts, to warn them that they may also be infected. "In consultation with the RIVM, we have started today with an adapted source and contact study. This means that we focus on risk groups and risky situations. All who tested positives will of course be called, but only a shorter and less extensive conversation will be held with them," a spokesperson said to the broadcaster.
GGDs nationwide are reaching the limits of their capacity. Figures NOS requested showed that the GGDs now have enough employees to do source and contact tracing for a maximum of 750 patients per day. On Thursday, 600 people tested positive for the coronavirus.
A spokesperson for umbrella organization GGD GHOR Nederland told NOS that it can expand to 1,000 source and contact investigations per day with great effort. That involves calling people back from vacation and having everyone work overtime into the evenings. "After that it is really done."
On Friday, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health told parliament that the GGD can quickly scale up to 1,500 investigations per day. Why his figures differ from the GGD's, is not clear.
The GGD is hard at work recruiting new people, with the goal of expanding the current 1,800 full time jobs to 2,300 full time jobs. But training new workers takes three to four weeks.