People flock to Brussels coronavirus testing centres ahead of travels abroad

People flock to Brussels coronavirus testing centres ahead of travels abroad
© Belga

The Brussels Region wants to increase capacity for coronavirus (Covid-19) testing, after several test centres have become saturated in recent days.

Now that the borders are open again, more and more Belgians are coming for a coronavirus test in order to avoid quarantine in the country of arrival, Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron said on Monday.

There are currently four testing centres operational in hospitals whereas, just weeks ago, there were 13, including private centres that have since reduced their opening hours or only work on appointment. Most centres were closed as few people came to get tested, Maron’s office explained.

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About 2,000 tests are currently being carried out every day. So far, this was enough to test everyone with symptoms, along with people coming back from at-risk areas and those contacted by contact tracers.

Now, however, with increased demand and the lower capacity, the region needs to take action.

The regional centres of the Joint Community Commission (JCC) have now "contacted the private centres in order to extend their opening hours and make them more accessible to the public," Maron said.

In addition, Maron’s cabinet met with the JCC, the representatives of the hospital federations and the associations of general practitioners on Tuesday morning to increase testing capacity in hospitals as well. According to Maron, the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc have already decided to reopen a test centre.

The Brussels Times

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