Long waits for test results for many in Antwerp

A general practitioner from Antwerp has told VRT Radio 2 that many people in the city that have undergone a coronavirus test are having to wait a considerable time for their test results. Dr Anne Delespaul works for a Geneeskunde voor het Volk (Medicine or the People) group practice and is a member of the far-left party PVDA. She told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp’s morning magazine programme ‘Start je dag’ that “This is unprecedented. At our practice we are waiting for the results of tests carried out four or five days ago. Private labs need to be better supervised”.  

Dr Delespaul added “We are still waiting for the results of tests that were carried out on Thursday and Friday. This is something that we have not previously experienced. Sometimes it took two days, but now we are sometimes waiting four or five days”.  

"To make matters worse this was predictable. We have been saying since May that more staff is needed for testing. At the laboratories they are working hard, but they don’t have enough staff. There are often logistical issues. The time span between the tests being taken and them being processed at the labs is too great.”

Dr Delespaul calls for more stringent checks on labs. "I sometimes have the impression that private labs are above all seeking to create volume. They receive 46.8 euro per test. The speed at which the tests are processed is less important to them. There needs to be more checks carried out because the laboratories are earning enough. They should be made to take on more staff”. 

Schoolboy spent 7 days in quarantine waiting for test result

The father of an Antwerp schoolboy told how his son spent a week in preventative quarantine while waiting for his test result.

7-year-old Otto De Backer from Deurne was tested after one of his classmates was found to be infected with the novel coronavirus. Steven De Backer told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp that “The test was carried out on Monday morning and only now, a week later have were received the result that happily was negative".

"Every day we made fruitless calls to our GP and checked the online platform. Each day was another day that we had to stay at home. Fortunately, I can work from home. Our son wanted to be at school with his friends. Ry explaining to a 7-year-old that he has got to stay a home because the system isn’t working properly”

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