In residential care centres and other care institutions with vulnerable people, the rapid tests will only be used in combination with PCR tests, for the time being.
“In situations where rapid detection is important, such as for staff with mild symptoms, or for residents and staff in case of outbreaks, rapid tests can be a good tool to detect positive cases,” said Beke. “The rapid test will always be combined with a PCR test, especially in the first phase where we also want to focus on further research.”
Additionally, Beke stated that the ‘Sneltestbus’ (“rapid test bus” in Dutch), which drove around in the East Flanders province to allow companies to have their personnel tested quickly, has not yet submitted an application for admission.
The bus was a private initiative of an insurance company, which was deemed illegal at the start of November, after it turned that the company behind the bus had not sought regulatory approval.
The bus had already come under fire from GPs in the Flemish province, with 180 of them coming out against it, saying its rapid-result model risked providing a false sense of safety.