PAMM in Veldhoven is extremely busy, processing the ‘corona samples’ from the corona test centres. The regional laboratory center for infectious diseases is having their hands full to handle the demand.
During the first corona-peak, PAMM handled about 300 corona samples per day. Now that number has already reached one thousand. The samples are mainly coming from the test streets in the region. “We’ve already scaled up a few times, with extra equipment and test materials. Our people are working at their full capacity. So we’re using everything at our hand to be able to cope with the demand,” says Peter de Zwart, director at PAMM.
Nationwide the labs have been struggling with a shortage of test materials for some time now. That is why the GGDs are not allowed to scale up for the time being. The result: longer waiting times. People with complaints, visiting test streets in Eindhoven, Eersel and Helmond, now have to wait two days instead of a maximum of 24 hours. “In principle, we can scale up, from 1200 to eventually 1600 tests per day. But then we’re dependent on the labs”.
For the time being, it doesn’t look like it will get any quieter for PAMM. On the contrary, it is expected to be much busier in the autumn, when many people get flu more often. PAMM is therefore worried. “It’ll be even busier. Demand from hospitals’ll also increase significantly. It’s very doubtful whether we’ll be able to cope with all that.”
In the meantime, the central government has made agreements with German laboratory organizations for the supply of extra test material for the Dutch labs.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.