Capacities in Berlin at the limit – Laboratories for PCR tests in Brandenburg fear overload
Photo: Uwe Anspach/dpa In some federal states, the laboratories are overloaded with the evaluation of the PCR tests, and the tests have already become scarce in Berlin. The situation in Brandenburg is not yet tense, but the laboratories are already seeing problems. Large laboratories in Brandenburg can still cope with the currently growing number of PCR tests, but expect difficulties if there is a sharp increase. “At the moment we can easily meet the demands of our practices, which send us corona samples,” said the head of the Potsdam laboratory of the Institute for Medical Diagnostics (IMD), Anja Kleiber-Imbeck, on Saturday of the German Press Agency.
But if the number of corona samples increases significantly, it will be difficult. The laboratory has a capacity of up to 1,100 corona PCR tests per day. Among other things, the PCR tests are to be ensured with a supply of reagents and swabs. According to the industry association, the medical laboratories in Germany are increasingly approaching the limits of their capacity in the Corona crisis. “The high number of infections goes hand in hand with many tests. Because there is currently hardly any prioritization for PCR tests, the laboratories in Germany are increasingly reaching their capacity limits,” said the chairman of the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine, Michael Müller, the “Rheinische Post”. said.
Free testing is also possible with quick tests
The Cottbus MVZ joint laboratory with six locations in the south up to the Teltow-Fläming catchment area has been technically upgraded. According to its head, Karsten Mydlak, it can process up to 12,000 PCR tests a week. He cannot report an overload at the moment. “We’re between 65 and 70 percent of capacity.” Other federal states are more affected by Omikron. “But let’s not fool ourselves, it’s a snapshot. Why should it stay that way in a poorly vaccinated south?” The specialist in laboratory medicine assessed. He is prepared for increasing numbers. In anticipation of a lack of PCR test capacities in the coming weeks, Mydlak pointed out that people who do not work in the critical infrastructure can test themselves free of charge with a recognized rapid test in the case of mild cases.
Lauterbach sets priorities for PCR tests
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said on Friday that he expects hospitals and laboratories to reach their limits due to the high number of infections with the omicron variant of the corona virus. Therefore, in the future, PCR tests should be used with priority for personnel in the healthcare sector and in care facilities. He initiated this prioritization on Thursday, he said. With regard to the PCR capacities in the capital, the Berlin Senator for Health Ulrike Gote (Greens) spoke of a “problem situation” that the administration was working on. “Here I simply have to state that we have a shortage of PCR tests not only in Berlin but nationwide,” said Gote. “But I’ll say it very clearly: we can’t solve this problem completely because it’s not in our hands alone.” As reported by rbb, there have been long queues in front of test centers in many places in Berlin for a few days. Some people were sent home without being able to have a PCR test done, even though they had a positive rapid test result. The chairman of the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine, Michael Müller, told rbb on Thursday that 86,000 PCR tests per week had recently been carried out in Berlin. This means that the capacities are 92 percent exhausted. Müller advocated no longer checking every possible case of corona infection with a PCR test. Instead, other options should be used. For example, typical symptoms could be used to decide that someone needs to go into quarantine.
Stricter corona rules in Berlin and Brandenburg
Stricter corona rules will apply in Brandenburg from Monday. However, 2G plus in restaurants will be suspended if the situation in hospitals relaxes significantly – but that is not the case at the moment. Anyone who has been vaccinated and recovered needs a daily negative test from Monday without a booster vaccination. Children under the age of six do not need proof, under 18-year-olds must be fully vaccinated or have recovered. From Monday, the FFP2 mask will also be mandatory in local public transport. According to a decision by the Senate, the 2G plus rule has been in effect in the catering trade and in other areas in Berlin since Saturday. Only those who have been boosted or who have been vaccinated twice and those who have recovered with a negative test result have access there. This also applies to events with ten or more participants, for example in the cultural, leisure and sports sectors. Children under the age of 14 are not affected by the restrictions. Show: Brandenburg aktuell, January 15, 2021, 7:30 p.m
What you need to know now
#Laboratories #PCR #tests #Brandenburg #lot #capacities #Berlin #limit