Monday 30 November 2020

Healthcare workers get fast coronavirus test priority, at work

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Healthcare workers showing symptoms of coronavirus will be able to check whether or not they have the virus using a fast test at work from the end of this month, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

The scheme will be extended to school staff, childcare workers and the police from early December 2020, the broadcaster said, adding that health minister Hugo de Jonge will make more details public later this month.

Healthcare institutions will be asked to order the fast tests from the central distribution agency LCH, which is already in charge of the distribution of masks, gloves and other protective items.

It is not yet clear how the fast tests will be used at schools and police stations, NOS said.

The aim is to make sure people working in essential services know quickly whether or not they have the virus to reduce the impact on staff shortages via unnecessary periods of quarantine.

The government is also setting up seven to 10 fast testing locations for use by members of the public, and will introduce fast tests in 20 to 25 drop in centres in December as well.

The government has ordered four million fast tests from suppliers BD and Abbott, with the same again in December and January. Both these tests have been validated by government experts. Fast tests have also been ordered from Roche but officials have not yet said how many.

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