As new coronavirus cases continue to climb towards 7000 per day, GGDs can no longer call with everyone who has tested positive. Instead calls to tell a person that they have tested positive are beginning to be made by call centres.
Sonja Kloppenburg, a spokesperson for the GGD has told the Volkskrant that it is with “a pain in our hearts” that the GGD admits it can no longer call with all infected people.
As coronavirus numbers shot up throughout the Netherlands last week, GGDs decided to phase out source and contact tracing due to a lack of employees.
The organisation currently has the capacity to carry out 1,500 source and contact tracing calls per day, but with daily figures well above 6,000 this is becoming an impossible task.
Kloppenburg explains that “there is no upper limit above which the GGDs no longer conduct source and contact investigations. But it ends somewhere at such numbers.”
Instead, a “risk-based” approach has been adopted and even this is at risk. Through this approach GGD employees will call all infected persons and ask them about who they believe they should call themselves.
During the call it is determined whether or not the person is articulate enough to call their close contacts themselves, and if not, the employee will do it for them.
Unable to even call anymore
However, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, GGDs fear that even this service will no longer be possible.
The GGDs wish to continue the service, but they are under so much pressure now that when a call can be made, it is usually a few days after the person has tested positive.
Usually those who test positive are always called by GGD employees to be given their result but the organisation has already started to pass the job on to call centres.
“We would prefer to continue to have that conversation with all infected persons”, says Kloppenburg, but it seems the numbers are simply too high.
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