If enough people install the app on their smartphone, it can help to be notified quickly of a risk contact with a person who has tested positive for the new corona virus. The app can therefore be an important addition to the current “contact tracing”, with which there have been many problems in recent weeks.
Moykens is also responsible for contact tracing and says Monday that steady progress is being made. For example, for the lead time in which the laboratories transmit the results of their tests to Sciensano, the scientific institute that collects the data. “It used to take two days for the results of the tests to be passed on. On 20 July, we wrote to all labs that they should send the results electronically within two hours. The information must also be qualitative, for example with the national register number of the patient ”, Moykens explains. “We monitor daily and see it steadily improve. About half of the labs are now meeting that target ”. She points out that in the future the repayment of the tests will also be linked to the speed and quality of the flow of information. “So we’re going to be able to sanction labs.”
The rapid passing on of information about infected persons should also help people in the contact centers to act quickly. “We used to get that information from Sciensano once a day, now three times at intervals of several hours. Today it was decided to shift up a gear, by calling the high-risk contacts of index patients (who test positive, ed.) Immediately ”and not waiting for information from those contacts to flow through from Sciensano. According to Moykens, contacts can be quarantined even faster, which can help stop the further advance of the coronavirus.
In the meantime, stories have also surfaced about people who sometimes have to wait days to be tested. Moykens emphasizes that this is certainly not a problem of capacity. “There is currently enough test material available,” she says. She does notice that some GPs are reluctant to test or wait too long. “Our motto is – and we’re going to insist: if patients show symptoms, be sure to have them tested! Everyone must take responsibility and be alert. ”