Izore in Friesland, and Certe in Drenthe and Groningen, have increased their capacity
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân. Minister for Health Hugo de Jonge (CDA) announced this week that by June 1, every person with symptoms in The Netherlands will be tested for the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This has meant that various bioanalytical labs around the country have been expanding their capabilities, including those in Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe. Both the Izore labs in Friesland and the Certe labs in Groningen and Drenthe are now ready to meet demand.
Anne-Marie van Elsacker, the Director of Medical Microbiology at both Certe and Izore says: “the number of tests available will increase considerably.” The expectation is that some of the tests will be received by non-regular laboratories that have joined the cause, added Van Elsacker. For example, the labs at the University of Wageningen will be broadened so that they can check Coronavirus tests.
“We have already said that we want everyone with Coronavirus-like symptoms to be tested, which will significantly increase test numbers in general”, said Van Elsacker. She also emphasizes that hygiene rules are exceptionally important, and that tests won’t be conducted without prior consultation from a doctor- if this wasn’t kept to then demand would outstrip testing capacity quite quickly.
Van Elsacker also said that from her perspective the Dutch government’s phased toning down of the Coronavirus regulations, a step-by-step approach that may be altered if infection rates or hospital admissions spike, is responsible. “If they don’t follow this path, with that safety valve, then I wouldn’t be happy. It would think that we would have loosened up far too quickly”, she said. Still, Van Elsacker expects that any loosening of the rules will cause more infections and hospital admissions.
The number of positive tests will also grow significantly higher with the increased capacity. “If, in principle, everyone with likely symptoms is tested, then we get a better picture. Then we have the question: are we actually seeing an increase, or just what’s really there? This question will need to be looked at again by epidemiologists”, said Van Elsacker.
According to the microbiologist, the number of hospital admissions is a good way to look at the development of the Coronavirus.