Massive and repeated testing, followed by isolation of coronavirus infected persons, does not appear to be the solution for reopening society. Epidemiologists conclude this in a study by Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. According to research leader Marc Bonten, more targeted screening is needed and massive testing does not mean that we can abandon the corona measures, he says in WNL On Saturday on NPO Radio 1.
The cabinet previously announced the plan for large-scale testing. From March next year, every Dutch person should be tested on average once a month, even if there are no complaints. This would keep the infection rate low, so that society can be opened up again, was the proposal of Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health).
“That is an unwise strategy,” says medical microbiologist Bonten. He emphasizes that the final solution is the vaccine. “Until then, we can do a lot of testing to see if we can keep specific things, specific events going,” he says. “Or that we can use the tests to do a lot of testing in regions if necessary.”
The test capacity that we are now building “and which is now becoming gigantic” will therefore help in returning to the partly reopening society and allowing specific events to go ahead. “But it is not possible to lift the measures completely”, emphasizes the research leader.
By: Marinka Wagemans