Security Council head hesitant about Covid testing priority for teachers
Hubert Bruls, chairman of the Security Council, thinks that "in principle" it is "sensible" to give certain groups priority in coronavirus testing, but he questions whether teachers should be part of this. He would much rather see the laboratory capacity expanded so that waiting times can be shortened. "Then we don't have to apply this selection," he said to Nieuwsuur.
The Netherlands is currently at the limits of its Covid-19 testing, due to laboratory capacity problems, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said. On Friday, the Minister said that personnel in healthcare and education will be given priority for coronavirus tests. It is expected that the first employees will get their priority tests at the end of this week, according to NOS.
"I understand that it is annoying when an entire school has to be closed and people have to watch their children at home," Bruls, who is also the mayor of Nijmegen, said to Nieuwsuur. "But if the canteen of the garbage collection service in Nijmegen has an infection, all garbage men and women have to quarantine for ten days and then the garbage will be in the streets. I can give a lesson via an iPad, but I cannot pick up the garbage."
If testing capacity cannot be expanded and priority has to be given, Bruls thinks the list of crucial professions drawn up in the spring should be used as a guideline. Though he added that this list will have to be shortened significantly. "It could concern hundreds of thousands of people. That is no longer a preferential policy, then you are just testing everyone. You have to look at what the really crucial functions are, which must continue from a social point of view, otherwise we will get into trouble. If police officers are no longer able to take to the streets because they have too few colleagues, then that is a serious problem in terms of crime prevention."
The Security Council consists of the mayors that head the 25 security regions in the Netherlands.