Nearly 18,000 Belgians isolated due to late Covid-19 test results
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Nearly 18,000 Belgians isolated due to late Covid-19 test results

Credit: Belga

In the last two weeks or so, nearly 18,000 Belgians have had to wait more than 24 hours for the results of a Covid-19 test.

Dutch-speaking newspapers De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws reported Monday that those who tested negative had to isolate themselves while waiting for the verdict and therefore missed a day of work or school for nothing.

The newspapers have analysed the government figures provided about the tests carried out in each laboratory. It emerged that in the past 14 days almost 18,000 Covid-19 test results were not sent to doctors within 24 hours, while the government requires for results to be provided within this time frame.

On average, 98% of the results were negative, according to the newspapers.

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“It’s a small minority that does not stick to this time limit,” according to Philippe De Backer, the minister in charge of testing.

“But as we carry out so many tests, there are in absolute numbers many people who have to wait more than a day,” he admitted.

According to De Backer, the situation has however greatly improved compared to a few weeks ago.

In mid-August, the minister admitted in the House that laboratories were systematically too slow to report results and that sanctions would be implemented.

This seems to be bearing fruit, since at the beginning of last month about 13% of results were submitted too late, compared to 5% now.

The Brussels Times