Unlike most other Western European countries, Germany has somewhat managed to bring the epidemic under control and recorded fewer deaths, despite less severe restrictions that allowed social and economic life to continue. extensive testing policy through which it has performed more than 5.4 million tests since the beginning of the epidemic.
But the major outbreak of coronavirus recently discovered at a slaughterhouse in North Rhine-Westphalia, which has forced the isolation of some 600,000 people, has shown that Germany remains vulnerable despite its relative success in fighting the epidemic.
Under current policy, the main categories that can be tested for COVID-19 free of charge are people with symptoms, as well as contacts of those who have tested positive, and frequent testing among at-risk groups, such as health workers or the elderly in nursing homes.
“Test, test, test! But in a targeted way “
But in Bavaria from now on, a “faster, free and for everyone” testing policy will be applied, Markus Söder told a news conference.
But this plan has also sparked criticism that there is a risk of saturating test centers or restricting access to testing for risk groups.
” Test, test, test! But in a targeted way, ” said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. “Performing many tests sounds good, but without a systematic approach it is not effective,” he said, disapproving of the Bavarian executive’s decision.
However, the city-state of Berlin said it would consider the example of Bavaria, but Socialist Mayor Michael Müller said it would not be a matter of “massive tests”. In contrast, the states of North Rhine-Westphalia (the most populous in Germany) and Baden-Württemberg have announced that they prefer to maintain their current approach to selective testing. “In my opinion, it is very important to do mandatory testing where the fire burns,” said North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Armin Laschet.
Web editor: Liviu Cojan