LIVE | Inspection: GGDs and labs not ready for second wave coronavirus

The number of coronavirus infections is rising sharply in the Netherlands. Elsewhere in the world, Israel has gone into lockdown again and more and more places for holidaymakers are colouring orange. There are 940,000 coronadalities worldwide. Follow the latest corona-news in this live blog.

The Dutch corona virus testing system is not yet ready for a possible second wave. The testing capacity needs to be further increased, the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ) observes after research in all 25 GGD regions. The Inspectorate calls the expansion that is still needed a “huge task” for the GGDs and laboratories involved.

The investigation was carried out in July and August. In that last month, the chain of notification, collection, laboratory analysis and source and contact research was “in order”, concludes the Inspectorate. At that time, however, the number of infections was lower than it is today.

The GMDs and laboratories cannot solve the bottlenecks on their own, according to the inspectorate, which warns that the system is “flawed” as well as people who have no complaints being tested. In addition, the IGJ finds it problematic for source and contact research if people have maintained many close contacts. Cooperation from the public is therefore desperately needed.

The government foresees a sharp increase in the demand for testing in the coming months. Symptoms of corona are similar to those of a common cold. Last week 195,545 people were tested, an average of almost 28,000 a day. The inspection report states that it is expected that almost double the number will be needed in November: 55.000 tests per day. In December it will rise further to 70 000 and in February 2021 a daily number of 85 000 is expected.

Previous calculations on increasing demand “do not reflect reality”, the inspectorate also writes.

The IGJ also surveyed laboratories analysing the tests. They are concerned and identify bottlenecks “in all areas”, from enough good staff to a lack of materials, equipment and space. They want to prevent their regular work from coming to a standstill again, like last spring.

Incidentally, the Inspectorate “greatly appreciates the way in which the Municipal Health Centres (GGDs) have set up the testing and the source and contact research in a short space of time” For example, they have invested a lot in training employees.

Nevertheless, not everything is going well. For example, more attention needs to be paid to the “physical strain and emotional support of employees” It also turns out that taking tests does not always go according to the rules. Municipal Health Centres (GGDs) have their own protocols, which often deviate from the RIVM guidelines. The IGJ saw areas for improvement in almost half of the Municipal Health Centres.

The IGJ advises supplementing the national guidelines and leaving little room for interpretation. The IGJ recommends supplementing the national guidelines and leaving little room for interpretation. “Pay attention to the handling of personal protective equipment, clean/dirt separation and the disposal of waste”

Click here for all the corona-news of Wednesday 16 September.

View here the number of infections per municipality in the past two weeks.

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