Crowds swarming coronavirus test locations after Carnival parties
The coronavirus test locations in the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg, as well as the Twente region, have become quite a bit busier after the recent Carnival celebrations. It is clear that the increased demand is a result of the parties, said a spokesperson for the GGD health service in Limburg-Zuid.
In the south of Limburg, 4,250 coronavirus tests were taken on Wednesday at the GGD test centers. There are already more appointments for Thursday. That is more than double compared to last week, when about 2,000 tests were conducted per day. "With such an influx you can put two and two together," the spokesperson said.
Tuesday was the last public holiday in southern Limburg. "After Carnival, you are always sick for a week, even in normal times," she said. "But I think that people who now develop health complaints are extra alert and will get themselves tested to be sure." Moreover, the increase in the number of tests comes at a time when people who contracted coronavirus at the start of Carnival are expected to have the first symptoms.
In the region around Den Bosch and Tilburg, it will also be busier in the test sites on Wednesday than in previous days, a spokesperson for the GGD Hart voor Brabant stated. This has resulted in queues forming from time to time, she said. It’s a little too early to draw a direct connection with Carnival, she added
Also in Twente, with Carnival celebrated in towns like Oldenzaal and Borne, the test centers have become a bit busier. But whether higher infection figures will be the result of Carnival is too early to say, a GGD Twente spokesperson said. "We do see a slight increase in the number of tests administered. On Tuesday 3,100 tests were taken; a week earlier it was 2,400," she said.
There were queues at test locations in the southeast of the Noord-Brabant on Wednesday, but according to the GGD this was mainly because many employees were at home with coronavirus infections.
The organization that coordinates the regional health services, GGD GHOR Nederland, said that more people are also being tested in the north of the country. These are mainly people who are returning from winter sports holidays. In the south, the number of appointments made rose on Tuesday, "usually leading to an increase in the numbers of test administrations.”
In the rest of the country, the weeks-long decline in the number of tests administered has stopped. "It is unknown whether this will continue or will lead to an increase. This depends on the effect of the spring break in the central and south regions, which ends this week."
Reporting by ANP.