Laboratories can barely handle coronavirus tests, GGDs must not expand

The Ministry of Health has asked the GGDs not to expand the coronavirus testing capacity in the coming period due to a capacity problem at the laboratories. This means that no new sites will be opened and that the opening hours of existing test sites will not be further expanded.

In recent weeks, demand for coronavirus testing has risen sharply, by around forty percent in the past week alone. Figures from the GGD already showed that the number of tests taken last week increased by almost 40,000 compared to a week earlier, to 140,432,

In Amsterdam tomorrow and Friday almost all test locations will be almost full. This afternoon there was only room in the RAI at a single moment. The ministry‘s fear is that if this growth continues, people who come forward will no longer be able to be tested.

Testing without complaints

“The number of test requests is now increasing so much, even from people who have no complaints, that the current capacity is coming under pressure,” says a spokesman for the ministry. “That’s why we’re now saying once again: test only in the case of complaints. And to the GGD’s we said: take a look at the place.”

When the capacity is back in order, the Ministry’s Municipal Health Centres (GGDs) may expand the number of test sites and the opening hours.

The intention is to expand capacity in the “short term”. The ministry thinks that this should be arranged this weekend and otherwise within a week. The test capacity will be further expanded in the coming months, as more people with respiratory complaints are expected in the autumn and winter.