Rutte: not yet clear when test capacity is in order

Prime Minister Rutte cannot say when there will again be enough capacity to carry out all the corona-virus tests needed. In the General Political Considerations in the House of Representatives, he said that man and power are being used to make up the shortfall, but according to him, more people are getting themselves tested than expected.

The Cabinet aims to do 70,000 tests a day in the second half of October, Rutte said. Now there are 30,000. He responded to criticism from the Chamber that the Cabinet had not taken the problem of the tests seriously enough.

Among others SP, PvdA, GroenLinks and D66 hammered on the great importance of tests and the consequences that a lack of tests can have. They pointed out that this has been addressed in many debates. The difference whether or not there will be a second wave is thousands of human lives and hundreds of thousands of jobs. If the government says you have to get tested, and you can’t, it undermines credibility, said Labour Party leader Asscher.

Testing without complaints

Rutte said that it is not just a Dutch problem that there are too few tests and that there are also shortages in other European countries. And he emphasised that the number of infections is rising in other countries as well as in the Netherlands.

The Prime Minister once again said that anyone with complaints should have themselves tested, but that this could take several days. Rutte does not want to prohibit people without complaints from getting tested. But if people without complaints don‘t come, that helps to reduce the shortage

Differences between regions

Rutte also said that the tide must be turned and that the number of infections must be reduced. He stressed that not only are there more infections, but the number of hospital admissions is rising again. New measures will be announced tomorrow, which may vary regionally.

This is the subject of consultation between the Cabinet and the regions today. Tomorrow, it will also become clear to which regions the risk is ‘vigilant‘, and which are labelled ‘worrisome‘ and ‘serious‘. Rutte said that the Cabinet wants to prevent measures being taken for the whole of the Netherlands if that is not necessary. The chairmen of the security regions can take measures themselves and they can also ask for a ‘national designation’, said Rutte.