The Cabinet wants Corona rapid tests to be launched on the market in the short term, which do not need to be carried out under medical supervision. These self-tests can be used, for example, by employers, schools and universities who want to make work or training safer. Ultimately, they also have to be found in the supermarkets and at the drugstore. Minister De Jonge thinks that the first tests may be available in April.
It is a question of rapid testing, where the condition is that they are taken by professionals and under professional medical supervision. Minister De Jonge wants to remove that condition from the contracts. The test developers can apply to self-test their quick test, and the minister can then grant a waiver within five days.
However, a shorter cotton pad for the nose must be included, because the long cotton buds (which go so far into the nose that it can hurt) do not work in self-tests. De Jonge thinks that the first self-tests can be offered from next month. “That‘s not a promise, but a real expectation,” he says
De Jonge points out that self-tests are somewhat less reliable than the tests carried out by professionals in the test streets. He says that in case of positive results, or if they have complaints without a test, people should still be tested by the GGD. The self-tests are intended to be preventive.
De Volkskrant reported this morning that the Netherlands has been paying millions of euros for testing capacity for months, which is largely not used. The newspaper says the government signed contracts last autumn with eight large laboratories that could handle 120,000 tests a day. They don’t reach that number by far. This morning several directors said that a solution was being sought which could help to speed up the opening of schools and cultural institutions, for example.