Conference of Health Ministers: Right to PCR test should remain

As of: 01/31/2022 8:23 p.m

In the future, too, everyone should have a right to PCR tests. And there is initially no extension of the recovered status – these are the points on which the conference of health ministers agreed.

Even if PCR tests are prioritized in the future, the right to these tests should remain for everyone. That’s what Saxony-Anhalt’s Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne said after a video call with her state colleagues and Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. She hopes that the test regulation will be published by the Federal Ministry of Health this week, according to Grimm-Benne, who is currently the chair of the Health Ministers’ Conference.

The background to the prioritization for people in the healthcare sector is that the laboratories are reaching their limits with the PCR tests due to the strong omicron wave with the high number of infected people. Lauterbach had therefore announced last week that there should be a new order. If necessary, because of the prioritization, people should expect that it will take a little longer until they receive their PCR test results, according to Grimm-Benne. The prioritization is the task of the laboratories.

No change in recovered status

The health ministers were unable to agree on a return to convalescence within six months. The department heads rejected a request from Bavaria to extend the convalescent status from the current three to six months. According to Grimm-Benne, Lauterbach had confirmed in the switch that the shortening of the recovered status was based on scientific results.

The health ministers did not advise on easing the corona measures on Monday, said Grimm-Benne. Opening prospects are firm intentions, but these can only be opened up after the peak of the Omicron wave in mid-February.

Vaccination goal not reached

The omicron wave continues to have Germany firmly in its grip. The Robert Koch Institute reported 78,318 new infections within one day. A week ago it was 63,393. The targeted vaccination quota has not yet been met. The goal set by the federal government to vaccinate at least 80 percent of the population against the corona virus by the end of January is out of reach.

Up to and including Sunday, 75.8 percent of people in Germany were vaccinated against corona at least once, according to data from the Federal Ministry of Health. However, the target of 80 percent was originally supposed to be reached by January 7th.

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