Coronavirus: Brussels on track to boost daily testing capacity to 9,000
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Coronavirus: Brussels on track to boost daily testing capacity to 9,000

© Belga/E. Lalmand

Brussels is on track to achieve a testing capacity of 9,000 coronavirus tests per day and to boost efforts to ramp up the country’s daily testing capacity to almost 100,000 tests.

Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron said that plans to scale up the capacity of health and ad-hoc testing centres in the region was going as planned.

With the opening on Monday of a new testing site in northern Brussels and with plans for at least six other testing sites in the pipeline, Maron said that officials expected to meet a goal of 9,000 tests per day.

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In his statements to the regional parliament, Maron also said that, as a result of, Belgium’s daily testing capacity could be expected to climb to 90,000.

Following the opening Monday of a testing site on Boulevard Pacheco in the northern Rogier quarter, Maron said that a new centre was set to open next week in the eastern municipality of Etterbeek.

Officials are aiming for the new centre to reach a capacity of 1,400 daily tests, as it offers Covid-19 screening to everyone from  departing and arriving passengers, to those following a contact tracing procedure or to suspected coronavirus patients with mild or no symptoms.

In line with announcements by regional health officials, Maron also said that another testing site was slated to open in Forest in October and that work was ongoing for more to open in northern Brussels (Heysel) and in the municipalities of Schaerbeek, Molenbeek and Anderlecht.

Brussels has doubled down on its testing strategy as nationwide coronavirus figures have shown that a mid-summer resurgence of the virus which began in Antwerp has begun shifting course towards Brussels.

As the Antwerp province sought to beat back the coronavirus flare-ups, authorities imposed a late-night curfew and created the country’s first Covid-19 testing village which drew people in in droves and prompted calls for more testing similar testing sites.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times