In view of the rapidly spreading omicron variant of the corona virus, the laboratory association ALM has recorded a maximum number of PCR tests per week.
Berlin – In view of the rapidly spreading omicron variant of the corona virus, the laboratory association ALM has recorded a maximum number of PCR tests per week. In the past week to Sunday, around 1.95 million PCR tests were carried out in specialist laboratories in Germany – more than ever before in the pandemic, the association announced on Tuesday.
About every fourth test (24.9 percent) was positive, and there were almost 490,000 positive test results in total. This is also a record. The utilization of the laboratories was therefore on average nationwide at 86 percent and thus increased significantly compared to the previous week (64 percent). “The situation is actually serious, the laboratories are at the capacity limits and beyond,” said ALM Chairman Michael Müller.
The laboratories were therefore able to significantly increase their capacities, this week the reported capacity for PCR tests in German laboratories is around 2.52 million. Nevertheless, one cannot test oneself out of the pandemic, warned Müller. In order to avoid overloading the laboratories and the specialists, he again called for the national test strategy to be applied quickly and consistently, which also provides for prioritization of PCR tests with limited capacity.
According to this, priority is given to people with Covid 19 symptoms and contact persons of those who have been proven to be infected. But the protection of people with particularly high corona risks, for example in the health care system, is also a priority.
According to Müller, PCR tests should be replaced by antigen tests, for example, where it makes sense and is possible. He referred to high-quality laboratory-based antigen tests that could deliver a “quality-assured and laboratory-certified” result and meaningfully reduce the need for PCR tests. (dpa)