The test strategy in the fight against the corona virus is to reach a new level. According to a draft paper from the Federal Ministry of Health, which NewsABC.net has, every citizen should be able to be tested with a rapid antigen test from March 1st. And free of charge. This should be possible in the test centers of the public health service as well as at doctors, dentists, medical laboratories or pharmacies, and also in test centers of the associations of statutory health insurance physicians. A positive rapid test should always be confirmed with a PCR test.
According to the paper, the federal government bears the costs for the tests and their implementation. A factor that makes the change in strategy possible: For the first time, “the supply of PoC antigen rapid tests has significantly exceeded demand,” says the paper.
There is also apparently progress with the lay quick tests with which citizens can test themselves. The Federal Office for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) will process the relevant authorization applications “with the greatest possible speed,” says the paper.
The federal government also apparently wants to encourage the manufacturers of lay rapid tests to produce high numbers. “The Federal Ministry of Health is already in negotiations with these manufacturers in order to secure certain minimum quantities of these tests for the German market in appropriate framework agreements,” says the paper.
As soon as these tests are available in sufficient numbers, they should also be used in schools and daycare centers. They should also be made available to citizens “if necessary for a small contribution of one euro”.
There was sharp criticism of the project from country circles. The strategy is to be decided on Monday in the Corona cabinet, but according to the states, many questions were not clarified at the health ministers’ conference this week. The new strategy should start on March 1st. Doubts have been expressed that the federal states will be able to make the necessary preparations in good time. It was said that a “black peter game” was inevitable.
The meaningfulness of the project was also questioned. Test centers are to be set up in a short time, but the approval of lay self-tests is expected as early as mid-March. Citizens can use these to test themselves, then the test centers would no longer be needed. The measure was “insane”, it was said from country circles.