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Brussels orders 100,000 rapid Covid-19 tests

Credit: Belga

The Brussels-Capital Region has placed an initial order for 100,000 rapid Covid-19 tests, which will arrive next week, according to the cabinet of the Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron.

These tests will help to alleviate the saturation of laboratories in carrying out analyses, said Maron, who added that they “will be intended first and foremost for nursing homes and other priority residential communities, such as accommodation for people with a disability, so that preventive screening can continue.”

The purchase of 100,000 tests is “a first order, and others will follow in the coming weeks,” Maron said.

They should make it possible to overcome the current testing limitations, but should also reduce the pressure on laboratories that carry out PCR tests, the results of which can sometimes take several days.

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At the moment, only symptomatic patients and infection outbreaks in communities still benefit from PCR testing. The new rapid tests will therefore provide the Region with additional capacity pending the federal increase in capacity, expected for 15 November.

The Brussels-Capital Region carried out more than 49,000 PCR tests last week. The objective is to maintain this capacity, while setting up new centres in the coming weeks in Molenbeek, Schaerbeek and Anderlecht to reach 63,000 PCR tests per week by the end of November, according to Maron’s cabinet.

As far as tracing is concerned, the teams will continue to be reinforced in the coming days to reach 300 agents. The number of field agents will increase from more than 30 to 50 by mid-November.

“Clear improvements have been noted in the follow-up of infected people, since 92% of calls are now being handled by the tracing centre,” Maron’s cabinet said.

The Brussels Times