Over half of the GGDs in the Netherlands can now no longer provide tests within 48 hours as promised. This is largely due to an influx of people wanting tests who have no complaints or symptoms at all.

Many people returning from Orange-zoned areas return to the Netherlands and want to be tested despite seeming totally healthy. Young people returning from travels are impatient to quarantine at home for 10 days, so apply for tests to shortcut this. GGD director Sjaak de Gouw added: “or people who want to go to a wedding or are going on holiday soon. People come with all kinds of reasons to get tested”, reports NOS

De Gouw is concerned that with waiting times for tests increasing, those with symptoms will decide to go to work before receiving their test results. Increased waiting times have caused many nurses and teachers to stay at home longer, delaying important healthcare and education services.

Increased capacity

The GGD director has attributed funds towards increasing testing capacity, but warns that even so, if too many without symptoms continue to get tested, the system will not cope. MKB-Nederland also wants to help expand testing capacities and wants to create speedy testing for business communities in particular.

It is crucial for testing times to be as short as possible in order to contain the coronavirus.  De Gouw is therefore urging the public to only get tested if they show symptoms.

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