While neighbouring countries order millions of rapid Sars-Cov-2 antigen tests, Belgium has so far not ordered any, Het Laatste Nieuws reports.
The rapid antigen tests are much simpler and faster than the currently-recommended nucleic acid amplification tests. The results are given after only 30 minutes, and could be very effective for residents at care homes and their staff.
Belgium’s care homes suffered an excess mortality of 86% during the early weeks of the coronavirus epidemic in spring.
The Netherlands have already ordered two million, France five million and Germany nine million rapid coronavirus tests.
Belgium’s new Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirms that Belgium had not yet placed an order. “These tests are being validated. It is only after the process is complete that we will determine what will be the best way to use them. We will consult with the experts,” he told the daily.
A purchasing strategy could be considered at the end of October. It will then remain to be seen whether the stock will not however already be gone.