Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, UZ Leuven has been the Belgian reference lab for COVID-19. The last couple of months, UZ Leuven and KU Leuven have been investing in supporting other clinical labs, so that they could also develop into testing labs. Since the spring all clinical labs have also gradually increased their capacity. At the moment, the UZ Leuven lab can perform about 2,000 tests a day. Thanks to the new lab this will be increased with another 7,000 tests a day.
In Belgium there is a daily average of 66,000 tests a day. At this point, the industrial labs take on part of these tests. Thanks to the new university lab, all these tests will once again be taken on by the clinical labs.
The new labs do not replace the existing clinical labs. “The were put in place to relieve pressure on the current clinical and industrial labs. Patients will not immediately notice the effect, because the new labs are replacing the industrial labs. Thanks to a shared effort of the 8 universities involved, spread over the whole country, Belgium will see additional testing capacity”, says prof. dr. Emmanuel André, staff member of the laboratory medicine department of UZ Leuven.