Saliva tests ‘will not be for the next few weeks,’ says Vandenbroucke
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Saliva tests ‘will not be for the next few weeks,’ says Vandenbroucke

Credit: Belga/BENOIT DOPPAGNE

The integration of saliva tests into the Belgian testing strategy throughout the country will “not be for the next few weeks,” said Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke on Monday.

The country’s different Health Ministers held a videoconference with the aim to improve Belgium’s testing strategy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, given the crowding at testing centres and the impossibility for laboratories to keep pace, which leads to abnormal delays in announcing results.

On Sunday, on RTL-TVi, Vandenbroucke hinted that testing could soon be extended beyond the current PCR tests to saliva tests, of which Belgium has already bought a batch.

However, no such decision was taken on Monday, he said in the evening.

“It is not an obvious decision at all. First of all, we have to be sure that the tests are valid,” he said. “Then the question arises: where will we use them, how do we link their results to our computer system? There is a complex chain of decisions, and it will take weeks.”

The Brussels Times