Self testing to be given more weight as health board test centres struggle


People with coronavirus symptoms but who do not have previous health conditions making them more vulnerable to Covid are to be urged to take a self test, health minister Hugo de Jonge has told MPs.

Currently self tests are only recommended for use by people who have no symptoms as an extra check.

But the pressure on regional health board testing centres is now so great, self tests are to be temporarily sanctioned for people with symptoms. Those with a positive test must then make an appointment for a PCR test to have the diagnosis confirmed.

As yet, it is not clear when the new rules will come into play.

In the seven days to Tuesday, GGD testing centres carried out 64,322 tests to confirm the results of a self test. In 85% of cases, the positive result was confirmed by the regional health board.

People with symptoms are being urged to stay home, even if a self test proves negative, apart from people with a crucial job, such as teachers and healthcare workers.

Public health institute RIVM said on Tuesday that 153,957 new cases of coronavirus were registered in the week to Tuesday morning, a new record and a rise of 39% on last week.

Regional health boards carried out almost 630,000 tests last week, and 22% of them were positive.

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