Coronavirus: Belgium's daily testing capacity reaches over 30,000

Coronavirus: Belgium's daily testing capacity reaches over 30,000
© Belga

Belgium currently has the capacity to carry out over 30,000 coronavirus tests each day, according to a federal minister in charge of the country's testing task force.

"We are testing a lot in Beligum, our criteria are very large," Philippe De Backer, telecoms minister put in charge of a specially created Testing and Shortages Task Force, said on Monday.

"This week, we carried out more than 30,000 tests every day — numbers that are quite high," he added, in statements made to the Belga news agency.

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De Backer's comments during a visit to a new testing centre at Brussels Airport, which opened on Monday and will offer on-site testing to arriving and departing passengers.

The country's testing capacities as reported by De Backer represent a scale-up from those reported in early May, when De Backer said that, with around 19,000 daily tests on average, Belgium had one of the highest testing rates in Europe.

According to De Backer's figures, 99% of people who get tested get results back within 24 hours, although he conceded that a longer waiting times were possible.

Any delays, he said, were due to uncertain results (which require a new test) or to the fact that some laboratories get samples in the evening which are only analysed the day after. In those cases, De Backer said, the delay can be of up to 36 hours.

The Brussels Times

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