GGDs cannot keep up with increased lab capacity: waiting time for corona tests remains the same

Timeline: the test saga in quotes

March 31st

‘Testing, testing, testing, that is what we will be doing in the near future.’

-Hugo de Jonge during corona press conference.


‘In the first months of the corona crisis, a larger number of people could probably have been tested for the new corona virus.’

-The Court of Audit will be critical of Dutch testing policy in September.

15 May

GGDs are ready for extensive testing and source and contact research. In June, all Dutch people with complaints that indicate the corona virus can be tested. ‘

– GGD umbrella GGD GHOR in a press release.

August 7

‘The limitation of the source and contact investigation is a temporary situation’

-Hugo de Jonge about the situation in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where infected persons must inform their own contacts.

August 26

‘In the meantime, we are working hard to expand the testing capacity at the laboratories. This is expected to be realized next week. Until then, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has asked the GGDs to wait with the further expansion of the number of test locations and the further extension of the opening hours. ‘

-The Ministry of Health in a press release.

September 6

‘Sometimes we saw on TV that our testing policy was expanded.’

Director Jaap Donker of the GGD region Utrecht.

September 10th

‘The shortage is expected to continue for a few more weeks. But there is nothing we can do about it. ‘

-A spokesperson for Minister De Jonge about the long waiting times for a corona test.

September 18th

‘We certainly don’t want to create false precision. Our calculation is intended to give you a feeling of what you could expect. ‘

-RIVM chief modeller Jacco Wallinga, about the – in hindsight – far too cautious prognosis that 30,000 tests per day would be required in September.

September 22

‘Looking back, we could have scaled up the test capacity earlier, but in the context of that moment that was not an obvious decision.’

-Minister Hugo de Jonge during the House of Representatives debate about involving foreign labs.

October 6

“We knew that jump was coming, but we had no idea when.”

-A spokesperson for GGD umbrella organization GGD GHOR explains why the GGDs are not yet able to keep up with the increased lab capacity.