Rapid Covid-19 tests available from December
The government is working on establishing seven large test locations where, in addition to the regular PCR test to diagnose Covid-19, various types of rapid tests will also be used, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a letter to parliament. These test locations are set to open in December. Rapid tests will also become available at 25 existing locations, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Ministry of Public Health is thinking about opening the large rapid test locations in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Groningen and Eindhoven. These locations will use the regular PCR test, as well as the LAMP test developed by TNO. The LAMP test gives results within 45 to 60 minutes, instead of the PCR's up to 48 hours. It is also just as reliable as the PCR test, experiments have shown.
The rapid test locations will also use the "antigen test", which checks for certain virus proteins and a breathalyzer test. These tests give results within minutes. The idea is that they will be used as a kind of first barrier. If you test negative, you can go home. If you test positive, you have to get a PCR test to confirm an infection.
This is one step in the government's plan to significantly increase testing options, De Jonge said in his letter to parliament. Rapid tests will also become available at 25 existing test centers, starting from late next month. Health center GGD is also looking into whether mobile test units are an option, so that testing can be done in a more neighborhood-oriented manner.
To help staff the new test locations, the Ministry of Health agreed with the Ministry of Defense that soldiers will help out during the start-up phase while more employees are recruited and trained.