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Roll out corona app delayed, but “testing capacity up to 90,000 a day by October”

Philippe De Backer, the Belgian minister responsible for the medical aids taskforce, has confirmed that in coming months there will be enough testing capacity to test everybody with symptoms of COVID-19. Meanwhile it's emerged the roll out of the corona app has been postponed due to the need to seek guidance from the EU.

“For the first time this week we were able to carry out over 30,000 tests a day” Mr De Backer said.

“For the autumn, when flu and other infections also increase, we are building a testing capacity of between 80,000 and 90,000 tests a day for coronavirus.  This should be ready by October.  Equipment and reagents have been ordered.  The labs are getting ready.  In this way Belgium will possess extensive testing capacity.”

Meanwhile it’s emerged that the launch of the corona tracing app for the general public has been delayed by a week.  Developers are having to wait for guidance from the EU authorities and this is delaying matters.

Karin Moykens of the interfederal committee Testing & Tracing: “The aim is for the Belgian app to be able to communicate with the Dutch and German apps.  The EU needs to consider the matter.”

The final development phase has been concluded.  A definitive version is being produced on the basis of the feedback from 80 people who tested the app.  The final version will then be tested by 10,000 people.

“We’ve asked each region to come up with test volunteers, who will use the app in real time, people working in hospitals and supermarkets, police officers” said Moykens.

The EU is expected to provide guidance on 17 September.  Only then can the final ten day test period start. If everything goes smoothly, the general public will have access to the new app by the week starting 28 September.

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