Every citizen is promised “at least one corona test per week”, but no maximum has been defined so far. At the moment, the health administration wants to clarify with the Federal Ministry of Health how to deal with it: The private and state-owned test centers are instructed to test everyone who needs a smear as long as possible. The federal government bears the costs for the swabs anyway, which is why Brandenburg residents, for example, can be tested in Berlin.
The health administration literally writes in a letter with the subject “Important information about testing” to the test centers: “The federal test ordinance stipulates that” at least one test per week “is offered as part of the citizen test – theoretically, a citizen can also Get tested every day. ”
The letter also indicates that the test centers should also test daycare children. They need them if they have cold symptoms, recently a negative result, but the parents want to send them to the facility anyway.
In some cases, centers had refused to test such young children. The health administration recommends acting pragmatically if the children have “snotty noses”: If there are no further symptoms, they should be allowed to be tested. Actually, only completely symptom-free people are allowed to be tested in the rapid test centers.
“A nationwide rapid test concept never came, only a funding commitment”
There are now 210 private test centers in the city, Health Senator Dilek Kalayci said on Tuesday after the Senate meeting. The test capacity is now 560,000 tests per week and is not fully utilized. Berlin is “very far ahead” in the rapid tests. “A nationwide rapid test concept never came, only a funding commitment,” said Kalayci in the direction of the Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn.
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Tagesspiegel research had shown that the private test centers – as of now – have to wait until May for the reimbursement of the costs for the free citizen tests. Only then does the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians see itself in a position to take over the accounts. From industry circles it was said that the centers can only survive the time until then with millions of loans.
Criticism of too few test centers on the outskirts
In the Berliner Districts meanwhile, the criticism of the unequal distribution of the test sites is growing. The district mayor of Treptow-Köpenick, Oliver Igel (SPD), said that in the outskirts the “supply of corona rapid test centers is worse than in the inner city”.
The Senate has set up a test center for each district – but only as a supplement to private rapid test centers. “Unfortunately, the test centers were then almost exclusively set up close to the city center,” said Igel.
Falko Liecke (CDU), City Councilor for Health in Neukölln, said on Monday: “Those who do not live in the city center are pinched.” The Gropiusstadt center has even moved to the north of the district, which is already better served.
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