Urgent need for increased testing capacity

08.08.2020 - 06:43
Urgent need for increased testing capacity
With thousands lining up to get Covid tested this week, the pressure on GPs and the urgency to expand testing capacities is growing by the hour
Marjus Dam, chairman of the General Practitioners’ Association

GPs and their staff cannot handle the huge amounts of people seeking prescriptions for Covid-19 testing.

“On Thursday, for example, there were 2,500 calls to the 1870 corona emergency hotline in the three-hour period between 8am and 11am,” says Marjus Dam, chairman of the General Practitioners’ Association.

“It’s impossible to keep up with such massive demand.”

 >> SEE ALSO Kilometre-long queue waiting to get tested

Not only does this put an enormous pressure on doctors, says Dam. Many people, some potentially with life-threatening conditions, simply cannot get through to their doctors.

He advises people to keep calling their local GP or the 1870 hotline, but if the lines continue to be busy and the situation is urgent, they can call the 112 national emergency number.

The minlaekni.fo website (in Faroese only) is also a useful way to obtain a prescription.

Pop-up testing stations

It is possible, he says, to expand the 1870 hotline staff and operating hours, but for that to make sense, the testing capacity needs to be ramped up accordingly.

The health authorities announced on Wednesday that new pop-up testing stations would be set up by Monday, by which time the prescription requirement for testing will be waived.

“I don’t see why it should take so long to set up these pop-up stations,” says Dam. “Why wait until next week when doctors are clearly struggling to do their work and the queues continue to grow?”

For more information about Covid-19 in the Faroes, visit corona.fo.


Translated by prosa.fo

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