Covid tests spike to record high; Get tested only with symptoms: GGD
The number of people who booked an appointment to be tested for the coronavirus last week increased by 40 percent compared to the week before. That is a good thing, as testing and contact tracing are an integral part of the Netherlands' fight against SARS-CoV-2. But the regional GGD health services reported testing many people with no symptoms, putting extra pressure on the already overworked staff, the Ministry of Public Health said on Monday.
"In order to make optimal use of the available capacity, the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports and the GGD are calling on everyone to adhere to the applicable testing policy: only get tested if you have symptoms," the Public Health Ministry said.
Around 140 thousand people were tested for the coronavirus in the Netherlands last week, a new record, the Telegraaf reported. The previous week the GGDs tested 102 thousand people. In the first week that testing opened to everyone with symptoms, between June 1 and 7, a total of 49 thousand people were tested.
Since June 1, the GGDs have tested a massive 1,018,023 people for the coronavirus.
The government and health services are working on expanding their capacity, so that more Covid-19 tests can be done and processed as flu season approaches. There are also a number of ongoing studies into whether and when it is useful to test for Covid-19 without symptoms. But for the time being, the policy applies that you can only get tested if you have symptoms that could indicate a coronavirus infections, such as a fever, shortness of breath, a cough, or a runny nose.