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Marius Gilbert: “We are moving towards systematic screening in nursing homes, but it takes time”

The first wave of coronavirus screening in nursing homes started on Monday, no less than 20,000 tests will be carried out this week.

Lhe first wave of coronavirus testing in nursing homes began on Monday. In total, no less than 20,000 tests, delivered by the federal government to the regions, will be carried out this week.

Interviewed by RTBF, Marius Gilbert, researcher in epidemiology at ULB, said that “even if a person is asymptomatic positive, he can be removed from contact with residents and do other tasks in the nursing home. “

For the researcher, systematic screening is an important step. “The benefit of this screening is multiple, it had to be done and is starting to take place. I hope the other waves will follow. “

Towards systematic screening

Anyway, the increase in screening is done day by day and we are moving towards an almost systematic screening in this second-line medicine, but it takes time to set up. “

For his part, virologist Steven Van Gucht was on the set of VTM to also discuss the situation of nursing homes. “There are more than 800 residential care centers in Flanders,” he explains. “So we had to make a first choice to determine which care homes should be tested first. The professor thinks that screening can now advance quickly.

Some forecasts, which predict that half of the residents of nursing homes will die from the coronavirus, are considered too dramatic by the virologist. “Even today, a minority of retirement homes are in real trouble. In the vast majority of cases, it’s not that bad right now and we have to try to keep it that way. ” It is therefore essential that staff receive good instructions, good medical supervision and the right protective equipment. Tests will then identify where the virus is and best isolate it.

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