Only if testing could become as common as brushing your teeth every day could it work to contain the coronavirus. “A lot of testing is good and that should certainly be done, but if we let go of the measures, it will certainly go wrong,” says medical microbiologist and research leader Marc Bonten of the university hospital in Utrecht.
According to him, despite the many tests, the virus will still be able to spread because most people are still sensitive to contracting it. Moreover, no person is contagious at the same time. It could be that someone is tested negative and therefore does not comply with the measures, while that person could be contagious the next day.
Corona Minister Hugo de Jonge wants, following the example of Slovakia, Austria and the British Liverpool, to conduct a trial with large-scale testing this year. The Ministry of Health is looking for a strategy to relax measures while controlling the virus. This is to further limit the economic damage of the partial lockdown.
From March 2021, every Dutch person would be able to have themselves tested once a month on average, even if there are no symptoms. To achieve that goal, the ministry wants to increase the capacity to 10 million tests per month. However, according to the Utrecht research, this does not help to reopen the country faster.