Wednesday 23 September 2020

Coronavirus test? The appointment book is full at most drive in centres

Photo: Depositphotos.com

In total, 86 of the 100 coronavirus test centres in the Netherlands have no space for new appointments, as an increasing number of people queue up to get tested, the central public health board said on Thursday afternoon.

Just four locations have sufficient availability in the coming 48 hours and a further 10 are virtually fully booked, the GGD is quoted as saying by public broadcaster NOS. Places which do become free are being snapped up immediately, and there is more demand than supply, the local authority health agency said.

The major hold up is in the laboratory end of the process, which means there is no point in carrying out more tests, the spokesman said.

‘We increased our capacity from 100,000 a day to 180,000 two weeks ago, but now we are being told we cannot scale up any more. We can increase capacity at the drive in centres further, but that is not where the problem lies.’

The health ministry has admitted that the labs have capacity issues and health minister Hugo de Jonge said at the end of last month he is now striking agreements with commercial labs and a major laboratory group in Germany.

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