Jens Spahn on the rapid test debacle: “We’re logistics world champions”


The criticism of the federal government’s corona strategy is growing. In focus: Health Minister Jens Spahn. He emphasizes that there are enough rapid tests available but not yet for every citizen from Monday.

Much criticism of the Corona resolutions, too high case numbers, too few rapid tests and, as before: too little vaccine – the criticism of the federal government is currently great. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) countered fears about a possible lack of sufficient tests at the federal press conference on Friday morning. “There are more than enough of these rapid tests, they are available and can easily be ordered,” said Spahn on Friday in Berlin. “The manufacturers tell us that the warehouses are full.” The federal government has currently secured at least 50 million rapid tests per month, ten million would be accessed.

From Monday, the federal government wants to finance a rapid test for all citizens at least once a week. Tests are to be carried out in local test centers organized by the municipalities with partners. In addition, the staff in schools and daycare centers as well as pupils should receive at least one free quick test every week of attendance.

The free quick tests would not be available everywhere on Monday, said Spahn. However, he is confident that the offer can be implemented quickly on site by the federal states. Every test center knows where the rapid antigen tests that have been available for a long time can be ordered. “We are world champions in logistics.” Organizing rapid tests is “not a secret science”. Spahn offered the prime minister of the federal states to arrange contacts with manufacturers in order to receive tests for schools and daycare centers in sufficient quantities.

Spahn: Federal-state decision at the limit of what is responsible

Spahn also promised rapidly increasing capacities for the rapid tests with which laypeople can test themselves for a corona infection. So far, according to Spahn, there are seven approved manufacturers, and the number is growing. According to some manufacturers, 20 million self-tests per week are feasible, said the health minister. “This means that every student could be tested twice a week.”

At the same time, Spahn again pointed out that self-tests do not offer absolute security. A positive result must be checked with a PCR test. Even in the case of a negative result, no one should “be lulled into a false sense of security”. It is still necessary to wear a mask and keep your distance.

Spahn again urged caution in the event of further relaxation of the corona restrictions. The opening options provided by the federal and state governments went to the limit of what is responsible from the point of view of health protection, said the CDU politician on Friday in Berlin. Not daring any opening steps would have been hardly justifiable. The agreed “emergency brake” is therefore important in the event that the number of new infections should rise sharply again.

(Source: t-online)

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister of Health Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) also said at the press conference that one could not offer every citizen a quick test from next week. But he is confident that the offer can be set up in a week. He announced that his state will increase the capacities of the vaccination centers to 100,000 first vaccinations and 100,000 second vaccinations per week in March. Employees in medical practices, workshops for the disabled, teachers, educators and parts of the police are now next on the list in NRW.

Wieler: Seeing “signals of a trend reversal”

Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), expressed concern about the corona incidence values ​​rising again. There is a significant decrease in the incidence figures, especially in the groups in which many have already been vaccinated, said Wieler. However, there are “still too many deaths” and one can also see that “the incidences among the under 80-year-olds are rising again”.

Wieler also pointed out that the incidence of infections per 100,000 inhabitants was generally rising again nationwide in seven days. According to the RKI, the value on Friday was 65.4. 10,580 new corona infections and 264 new deaths of infected people were registered within 24 hours.

In addition, it is foreseeable that the British virus variant B117 will soon be the predominant variant in Germany. “Then it will be even more difficult to keep the virus in check,” warned Wieler. He pointed out that these and other mutants are “even more contagious and dangerous in all age groups” than the original coronavirus. These are “signals of a trend reversal”.

It is all the more important to advance the vaccinations quickly, warned the RKI boss. He emphasized again that all vaccines approved in Germany are highly effective, including against virus type B117. In the case of other mutants, such as the South African variant, the vaccinations at least protect against serious illnesses. “If you are offered a vaccine, get vaccinated,” Wieler called on the citizens.

Companies are now also putting pressure on the federal government: They are offering to vaccinate their employees with company doctors. The vaccination by company doctors is a sensible step, said Spahn. But the time to completely deviate from the prioritization of the vaccination ordinance has “not yet come”.

So far, despite the shortage of vaccines in Germany, there has been no reason to think about export restrictions for corona vaccines produced in this country, said Spahn. Italy has stopped deliveries of Astrazeneca vaccine to Australia, it was announced on Thursday.

He has not yet had the opportunity to speak to his colleague in Italy about the ban imposed there on exporting the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia, Spahn added. He pointed out that in Germany, AstraZeneca has not yet produced its vaccine, but only bottled the vaccine. Spahn emphasized that he would definitely strive for a European approach and not a national solo effort. The export controls introduced were primarily intended to create transparency as to where the quantities of vaccines produced in the EU were going, stressed Spahn.

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Jens Spahn rapid test debacle logistics world champions


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