Companies that manufacture heart valves are widely mislabelling their products, which can have major consequences for patients. When a cardiac surgeon from Groningen exposed the problem, he sparked a battle that has raged for years.
Amrish Baidjoe is one of the few Dutch outbreak experts with broad experience in crisis situations. At the end of July, he and other experts founded a think tank, the Red Team, to advise on alternative strategies for dealing with the pandemic. After it published a report on facemasks last weekend, prime minister Mark Rutte decided that the Outbreak Management Team, which advises the government, should take another look at the issue. Baidjoe is moderately positive about the tighter rules issued by the government yesterday. ‘We’ve reached the stage where we can no longer stop the flow of infections with testing and contact tracing alone,’ he says.
The Dutch policy of limited testing for the coronavirus is largely caused by a shortage of laboratory supplies. Pharmaceutical company Roche dominates the market for lab materials and currently supplies a mere 30 per cent of the Dutch orders. Roche holds the key to the storage cabinet and has as of yet kept the recipe which could help overcome certain shortages under its hat.