Nobody should be excluded from PCR tests

DThe health ministers of the federal states spoke out on Monday evening in favor of nobody losing the right to a PCR test. The committee did not make a corresponding decision, said the chair of the conference, Saxony-Anhalt’s department head Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD). However, the tests should be prioritized. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) had announced that a new test regulation would soon be presented. Because of the omicron wave, the medical laboratories in which the PCR tests are evaluated are currently reaching their limits.

“As Health Ministers, we agree that we will continue to prioritize the PCR test capacities,” said Grimm-Benne after the meeting. Anyone who needs a PCR test should get one. At the same time, citizens for whom a rapid antigen test will also be an option in the future – it is being discussed that this test could be required, for example, for free testing from quarantine – should not feel like “second-class citizens”, said the minister. Therefore, it should still be possible for everyone to do PCR tests. “The labs then prioritize how quickly you get your test result.”

There was a “lively exchange” with Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD). Lauterbach has “taken up the suggestions of the federal states and we will soon receive the draft of this adapted test regulation,” said Grimm-Benne.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the prime ministers of the federal states agreed at their conference a week ago that PCR tests should be used in a targeted manner. “The currently high number of new infections, which is expected to continue to rise, is leading to bottlenecks in the available PCR tests. Some of the laboratories are already overloaded. When bottlenecks occur, it is therefore essential to prioritize,” it said in their decision.

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