Netherlands Covid testing system not ready for second wave, Inspectorate says
The Netherlands' test system for the coronavirus is not prepared for a second wave. The testing capacity must be further increased, and that will be a "huge task" for the GGD health services and the laboratories involved, the Inspectorate for Healthcare and Youth said after investigating the testing capabilities in July and August, NOS and ANP report.
In August, the testing system was working well, the Inspectorate said. The chain of registration, collection, laboratory analysis, and source and contact tracing was "in order". But that started to collapse when the number of infections started rising again.
According to Inspectorate, the GGDs and laboratories will have to increase the number of Covid-19 tests that can be done per day to at least 55 thousand in November, 70 thousand in December, and 85 thousand from February. Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said last week that he hopes to have the testing capacity increased to 70 thousand by end October.
The Inspectorate stressed that the health services cannot battle this pandemic alone. They are dependent on national partners, laboratory capacity, and the cooperation of the public. For example, people should not get tested if they don't have symptoms that could indicate an infection. And they need to cooperate with source and contact tracing, and stick to social distancing rules.