High-risk contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are no longer called by contact tracers since Wednesday. Instead, they receive a text message asking them to take the test.
“The increase in the number of cases also leads to an increase in the workload of call centres,” explains Joris Munins, a spokesperson for the Flemish Agency for Care and Health. That is why in most cases it is decided to send a text message instead of calling the high-risk contacts. If there is still time at the end of the working day, they can be contacted. But whoever is injured is now a priority: they will still be called.
Munins acknowledges that a text message is less coercive than a phone call. Needless to say, we also prefer to connect with people. This way we can provide people with additional information and answer their questions. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible under the current circumstances.” “But anyone who receives a text message can still call the call center with his or her questions.”
To deal with overtime, it was decided last Friday to increase the number of employees in call centers from 400 to 500. “Recruitment procedures are in full swing,” Munins says. “It’s a recent decision, but staffing can be reviewed later if needed.”
And the contact tracing devices themselves are also sounding the alarm. CLBs, which are responsible for tracing contacts in schools, are under pressure. “We feel left behind and have no idea if there have been casualties in the classroom. Does our work still make a difference? In VRT NWS.
The wide relaxation also makes work more difficult. “People can no longer keep up with their contacts,” says Annelies Delrue, who works as a general practitioner and is one of the corona coordinators in the primary care district in North Limburg. Our job is to track infections and clusters, but containment is almost impossible anymore.
The number of infections has been increasing for several days in a row. Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroek (Forwitt) on Wednesday evening warned that to an extent, to a degree: We are clearly in the fourth wave. We will see a sharp increase in the number of injuries and hospitalizations. But don’t panic, we can also control this wave.
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