Antwerp launches major drive-through virus testing facility
The city is opening a Covid-19 testing site for large-scale testing of low-risk, asymptomatic people
“This initiative is meant to relieve the heavy pressure on health care workers,” city councillor Fons Duchateau told De Standaard. “Antwerp’s general practitioners, emergency services and existing labs are becoming overwhelmed because a lot of people who don’t show any symptoms are seeking out testing.”
The testing site, which will operate as a drive-through of sorts, will be able to test up to 4,000 people per day. Anyone wishing to be tested site will have to register online in advance.
In the capital, too, officials are taking steps to prevent primary care facilities and health care workers from becoming overburdened. Brussels health minister Alain Maron announced on Friday morning that the opening hours of many of the city’s existing testing facilities would be extended.
The longer hours will mean that testing facilities in the city will be open for a combined 430 hours per week, up 69% from the current 255 hours.
Maron told Bruzz the extended opening hours would ensure that people who urgently need to get tested because they are showing symptoms will be able to do so. As in Antwerp, people seeking tests before going on or returning from a trip abroad have put pressure on the city’s hospitals and general practitioners.
Photo: An impression of the planned test centre, due to open next week
© Stad Antwerpen