Germany’s public health is ready to offer free covid-19 antigen tests to all residents of the country, confirmed a minister Jens Spahn in a tweet.
Any resident of Germany will be able to use the free covid19 test since March 1st. The European country tackles the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic, said Health Minister Jens Spahn.
The top medical official is planning an overhaul of the country’s National Test Strategy, which he will present to the Corona Cabinet.
Unlike polymerase chain reaction (RCR) tests that must be analysed in a lab, antigen testing can be done from saliva with a result given on the spot within 30 minutes.
According to the German government, free covid-testing will allow maintaining the actual picture of the epidemiological situation across the country. Free rapid tests should not only be available in public health test centres, but also in doctors’ practices, dentists and pharmacies.
In fact, Germany has already expanded the use of rapid tests. The approach now used in nursing homes, clinics and after outbreaks, also in schools – but for the time being only by trained staff.
The Health Ministry is already in negotiations with various manufacturers to secure supplies of self-tests for the German market.
As of Tuesday, Germany 3,856 new cases of corona in the previous 24 hours and 528 deaths. If someone suspects they have covid19 they can ask their doctor for a test covered by health insurance, but it is at the doctor’s discretion to allow it.