With the first self-tests for Corona coming to market soon, education is positive about the reopening. OMT’s Yann Klwittmann has high expectations. “You do the test while brushing your teeth, and after breakfast you get the results.”
They’ll likely be on the shelves soon, as are acetaminophen and bananas – the first home coronavirus tests. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health, Science and Sports (VWS) issued an exemption for two manufacturers. And that’s “very good news,” says medical microbiologist and OMT member Jan Clwittmans. “You prefer to take such a test every day. At least every time you go to your study program, for example. We are now focusing on every other day, but the more often the better.”
Test when brushing your teeth
OMT member Kluytmans led studies on the effectiveness of self-tests. This showed that it is somewhat less reliable than professional tests. “Our research shows that eight out of ten are correct, which is less than a professional test,” says Clwittmans. “But since you are doing it on a large scale and with much more frequency than other tests, this is more than acceptable.”
According to the doctor, people are quite capable of having a test on themselves. “We looked at it and saw that people can do it very well by themselves. Especially young people, they are doing a lot better.” Clwittmans says it is an “ideal solution” for schools and universities. “You can take the test while brushing your teeth and you will get the results after breakfast.”
How does the Corona self test work?
It would be comforting to many that the corona self-test applicator is a bit shorter and therefore should go deeper into the nose: only 2.5 cm. Using a cotton ball, remove some mucus from your nose and put it in a bottle with a special liquid.
Then you drop this liquid on a test strip, which will show if you have coronavirus after 15 minutes. If the test result is positive, then you must then visit the GGD for a PCR test. In this test, mucus is removed from the throat and nose the “old-fashioned” method.
A trial in VU
Today began an experiment at VU in Amsterdam with rapid tests for teachers and students. On a special test street, professionals use tests that will soon be available to everyone. Every day, 200 students could self-test and sit in lecture halls after half an hour. “I think it’s a very good strategy,” says student Rosalie. “If it were up to me, we would have done it right since the start of the epidemic.”
HBO and universities are now closed to physical education for a year. “It’s impossible to say how many of my friends have passed,” Rosalie says. “Me too. I can no longer study, friends cannot see, and they do not exercise, so it is really necessary for us to get back to normal ASAP.”
Test twice a week from the end of April
“We are now in eight regions studying whether we can open schools and universities with more tests,” says Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven, who was present at the start of the experiment in Amsterdam. “What we are aiming for is that from the end of April we will be able to test all staff and all students through self-exams. We aim to run the tests twice a week so that you are safer in schools.”
“We really want to keep education available. That is why we prefer not to ask for test certificates. We will see if self-exams can help, so that schools and universities can easily open safely. But what I noticed, Van Engelshoven says, is that students really care about each other.”