Coronavirus test shortage to be resolved from Monday
The Dutch government will be able to remedy the month-long shortage of coronavirus test capacity by Monday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport told newswire ANP. The Netherlands will be able to perform 395 thousand tests per week, or an average of about 56,400 tests daily, nearly doubling the current capacity.
“We are expecting to meet demand for this in October. It is looking good,” the spokesperson said. While the acquisition of test materials was one bottleneck, the ability for the GGD municipal health service to perform the test was another.
“More is needed for this, because the GGDs must also be able to handle the many tests. But we are also hiring more and more research capacity,” the spokesperson said. The Netherlands has also been trying to increase laboratory capacity to process more PCR swab samples faster, and cut down on the time residents have to wait to get their results.
The spokesperson told the newswire that the shortage which has made it difficult for people to schedule a coronavirus test within two days, and get results for the test less than two days later, will be resolved starting next week.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said last month that the target was to handle 50 thousand tests per day by the end of September, and 70 thousand per day by the end of October. “I therefore expect that we will be able to meet the test demand again in early October. An uncertain factor here remains how the test demand develops,” De Jonge said in a letter to Parliament.