‘Silting up GGD is worrying’

Epidemiologist Amrish Baidjoe, who advises WHO on infectious disease outbreaks, among others, calls it a disturbing picture. “You see the number of infections in the Netherlands and other countries in Europe increasing again. We are not talking about the numbers this spring, and it is worrying that we are already seeing the waiting times at the GGDs for testing silting up.”

Anyone who makes an appointment for the corona test now must stay indoors until the test is taken and again until the result is known. After all, in the meantime, you don’t know if you’re contagious to others. According to Baidjoe, the waiting time should therefore be as short as possible. “If that period lasts a long time, people will be in uncertainty for longer and it could mean that someone’s symptoms get worse, which may increase the infectivity.”

According to him, there is also a chance that people will not report for a test due to the waiting time or that they will break through the quarantine period earlier.

“What also worries me is that we have seen this coming. The OMT has set conditions for the relaxations, being able to test enough was very important. That the GGD does not immediately have everything in order is very understandable, testing on this After all, an unprecedented scale is a gigantic logistics job, but we have now almost two months further. Now it really has to be sorted out very quickly. “

Extra lines and open longer

A spokesperson for the GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond says it is annoying that people cannot be tested within 24 hours. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that residents can get tested faster. We have extended the opening hours of a number of test streets and will open additional test streets in our region in the coming week.”

The GGD Amsterdam and GGD Zeeland have already added test lines. The extra test line will follow today at the GGD Gelderland-Midden. The GGD Kennemerland has extended its opening hours since Thursday and is still training additional staff.

Several other GGDs cannot yet say when they will open additional locations or lines. For example, the GGD Zuid-Oost Brabant will eventually open another location in the Helmond region. The extra lines will follow at the GGD Hart voor Brabant in the course of this week. The GGD West Brabant is also announcing new locations this week.

Baidjoe: “So there are some GGDs where they seem to have things in order. That’s worrisome, because you want it to be right everywhere, otherwise you get regions where people may not get tested quickly and more contaminations may remain under the radar for too long. “

Also waiting time at rash

All GGDs are designed to collectively take 24,000 tests per day, but that number is far from being reached. However, it is much busier in various regions than expected and in others it is not. Incidentally, there are not only waiting times when taking the tests. Many people also take longer to communicate the results than the promised 48 hours.

According to umbrella organization GGD GHOR, more than 90 percent of people who test positive for the coronavirus receive the test result within 24 hours after the results have arrived at the GGD. People who get a negative result (and are therefore not infected) take much longer to be informed. On social media, many complain that the 48 hours are amply exceeded.