GGD says their coronavirus tests shouldn't be used to reopen society
GGD chairman, André Rouvoet, has told Trouw that the GGD’s testing capacity should not be used to test people without symptoms in order to allow for a so-called “test society,” where those who test negative for COVID-19 are granted access to events, schools, or cinemas for example.
GGD should only be used to test those with coronavirus symptoms
The GGD can carry out as many as 175.000 tests per day across 380 testing locations in the Netherlands, but only around a third of these are used every day.
In spite of these figures, Rouvout says the GGD testing facilities should be used to combat the spread of coronavirus and to test those showing symptoms of coronavirus: “From the point of view of virus control, preventive testing of people without complaints does not make a major contribution. The GGD is there for public health, that is our task.”
Rouvout says he is in favour of using rapid tests to allow for more freedom, however, he feels this task should not fall to the GGD: “The task of preventive testing for no additional reason lies primarily with the business community or education, and not with the GGD.” And so, the Dutch government is hoping to open 100 new rapid testing sites in April, aimed purely at testing those with no symptoms to provide them with more freedom.
Using rapid tests to reopen the Netherlands
At the press conference on Monday, acting Health Minister Hugo de Jonge confirmed that he was looking into ways that people who have tested negative or been vaccinated would be granted more freedom. Many business and industries also hope to see this plan come to fruition, as it should allow them to reopen and welcome customers safely.
De Jonge’s plan - the CoronaCheck app - will be trialled at events this weekend, and will allow those in attendance to prove that they have tested negative to COVID-19 on their phones. However, in spite of the government’s plans to make rapid tests more widely available, the CoronaCheck app will only work if the person using the app was tested at a GGD testing facility, not if they tested themselves at home.