NewsCorona: test bottlenecks in Germany - Union is putting...

Corona: test bottlenecks in Germany – Union is putting Lauterbach under pressure

The corona numbers are increasing – and so is the need for PCR tests. The laboratories are “unprepared”, the Union appeals to Karl Lauterbach.

+++ 1 p.m.: In view of the impending bottlenecks in corona tests, the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag has demanded rapid action from Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach * (SPD). “The Federal Ministry of Health must quickly submit a recommendation for action to prioritize PCR tests,” said the health policy spokesman for the parliamentary group of the Union, Tino Sorge (CDU), on Thursday the AFP news agency. “The laboratories and test centers urgently need guidance for their decisions.”

“The capacities for PCR tests have to be expanded as quickly as possible – especially now because they detect Omikron much more reliably than rapid tests,” said Sorge. As long as there is a threat of overload, “the available capacities must primarily be used according to urgency and medical needs”. In the coming weeks, this could also lead to “a vacationer having to wait longer so that a person in need of care receives his result quickly”. Even for areas of so-called critical infrastructure such as the police, fire brigade or energy supply, “test capacities must be available in order to be able to react to outbreaks there at short notice”.

Corona: Rush to PCR tests – laboratories reach their limits

First report from Thursday, January 13th, 2022, 9 a.m .: Frankfurt – The Omikron variant of the corona virus is considered highly contagious. It was first discovered in South Africa, now it dominates the infection process in numerous countries. In Germany, too, the proportion of the Corona variant * is increasing rapidly. Although experts assume that Omikron leads to milder courses * as a result of an infection, a “sudden increase in the number of infections” and “rapid overloading of the health system and possibly other areas of care” is possible, as the Robert Koch Institute warns.



Corona test bottlenecks threaten in Germany. (Symbol photo)

“The high number of infections goes hand in hand with many tests,” warns the chairman of the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine, Michael Müller, in an interview with the Rheinische Post. The medical laboratories in Germany are therefore increasingly approaching the limits of their capacity utilization in the Corona crisis. “Because there is currently hardly any priority in PCR tests, laboratories in Germany are increasingly reaching their capacity limits”. That is critical, both for the sick and for hospitals.

Corona: Laboratories at their limit due to many PCR tests

“It is therefore imperative that medical practices and test centers in particular are encouraged to align themselves with the national test strategy,” demands Müller. If capacities are tight, PCR tests would have to be carried out in accordance with the recommendations there. With the new corona rules in Germany, you can soon free yourself from quarantine: This will “inevitably lead to additional work for the laboratories”. On the part of the federal government and the states, there were no forecasts “how many more tests we have to be prepared for”. Now the laboratories would “have to face the onslaught largely unprepared”.

Kunststoffröhrchen mit Corona-Abstrichen stehen nach dem PCR-Test in einem Labor.


A laboratory association is warning of increasing utilization of the corona test capacity. (Symbol image)

On Tuesday (January 11th, 2022), the association put the test capacity utilization at 64 percent. On the discussion about capacity bottlenecks, Müller said in a press release: “The workload in the laboratories is considerable, but I see no reason for too much concern.” Rather, with increasing test activity and limited test capacities, it is more important to actually implement the test strategy.

Corona tests: the head of the crisis team expects bottlenecks

The head of the German government’s Corona crisis team, Major General Carsten Breuer, also warns: “As with all scarce resources, we will certainly have to bundle capacities where necessary. That also applies to tests, ”he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. As soon as it gets tight somewhere, priority must be given. “Employees in the critical infrastructure have priority,” he said. The goal, however, is to maintain the previous test regime for as long as possible. “We need the most accurate data possible to see how the wave affects us,” said Breuer.

The Greens health expert * Janosch Dahmen spoke out in favor of prioritizing PCR tests. They would have to be kept in readiness on the one hand for important medical diagnostics of the seriously ill and on the other hand for the staff of the critical infrastructure, said Dahmen on Thursday in the RBB-Inforadio.

“That can mean that in individual cases, for example when testing free, there may be delays. This not only means long queues in front of the test centers, but also that it takes time for the test result to be available, ”admitted Dahmen. The situation will only improve once the skyrocketing Corona case numbers * are brought under control. (lrg with AFP / dpa) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

Rubriklistenbild: © Dipayan Bose via

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