Inspection: Netherlands not ready for second wave, no direction for testing

GMDs, testing laboratories and the Ministry of Healths various corona task forces are not now ready for acute regional scaling up or a second wave of the coronavirus. This is the conclusion of the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ) in a report.

The parties do not cooperate sufficiently in testing and source and contact research and cannot find or understand each other well. “Parties do not know who to address if there are problems”, is stated in the inspection report.

According to the inspectorate, there is a lack of direction with regard to testing and source and contact research. The Ministry of Public Health should take better care of this management. This would involve, for example, attracting sufficient test materials.

GGD is faced with an enormous task

The 25 GGD regions have made good arrangements for testing and source and contact research, according to the inspectorate. However, the GGD is “facing an enormous task” to greatly increase its capacity. The inspectorate says that 55,000 tests per day are needed in November, 70,000 in December and 85,000 per day from February onwards.

According to the inspectorate, the national calculations for scaling up the tests differ from reality and this has consequences for the implementation. For example, some GGDs had too much capacity in the beginning, while other GGDs were unable to absorb the peaks due to staff shortages. This too needs to be improved, let the inspectorate know.

The IGJ also stresses that the GGDs cannot deal with the corona crisis on their own and are dependent on national partners, laboratory capacity and the cooperation of the public.

For example, people should not be tested if they have no complaints, and there are patients whose source and contact tests show that in many situations they did not comply with the distance rules.

The survey was carried out in July and August. At that time, the number of infections was lower than it is now.