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Germany Sets COVID-19 Testing Record And Prepares For Future Outbreaks

Germany Sets COVID-19 Testing Record And Prepares For Future Outbreaks

Source : Medtech Insight

German COVID-19 testing activity was up again last week, reaching a record 364,716 tests undertaken, 11% more than in the week before. 128 German labs are now contributing data about their SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Almost 75,000 antibody tests were performed in the past week.

National COVID-19 testing capacity stands at 845.000 SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests per week, much of which the ALM lab medicine association says will be called into use once the second pandemic support law, expanding test eligibility, comes into effect. The current rate of positive infections among a very large tested populations, at 1.7%, remains “pleasingly low,” said ALM.

The policy of protecting and testing health care staff is paying dividends. The renowned Charité university hospital in Berlin has so far tested 12,000 staff, with a positive rate of 0.5%, writes Ärztezeitung. Repeated testing is seen as vital. Antibody testing has shown positive results in 2% of staff.

The statistics were announced during a virtual press conference hosted by federal research minister Anja Karliczek, who indicated that, current successes notwithstanding, COVID-19 represents a serious and lasting threat. The government has allocated €150m ($164m) to and new National University Medicine Network to secure scientific data from sufficiently wide patient groups on which to build optimal care strategies.

The network, proposed by Charité chairman Heyo Kroemer, will continue its work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. And should a second spike come in three to six months, ready-made patient management strategies could be quickly called back into action, he said.  

Charité is running COVID-19 trials using already-licensed therapies such as the protease inhibitor Camostat, hydroxychloroquine, antiviral therapies like Favipiravir, Lopinavir and Remdesivir, convalescent plasma therapy and therapeutic antibodies.

By Ashley Yeo