Belgium will expand testing for the new coronavirus (Covid-19). Credit: Belga
Belgium’s coronavirus testing will be expanded this week to include people who have more subtle symptoms, said inter-federal coronavirus spokesman Yves Van Laethem on Monday.
Initially, only severely ill patients and nursing home residents and staff were tested. Authorities then included all individuals entering the hospital for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus. From now on, people who show symptoms of the disease will also be screened.
“It is clear that someone with a fever and flu-like illness, coughing and difficulty breathing may have the coronavirus,” Van Laethem said. “So we need to extend [the tests] to much more nuanced symptoms, such as loss of taste and smell, extreme fatigue with fever and muscle aches,” he added, asking people to always call their doctor first.
The spokesman also said that Belgium is currently able to carry out between 15,000 and 20,000 tests daily. “The capacity of 25,000 tests [per day] should not be a problem in the coming days and an increase in capacity will be possible,” he said, if the number of people with symptoms increases.