Free rapid tests are delayed

Free rapid tests can help keep Corona under control. But from March 1st, as originally planned, it will not be there after all. Health Minister Spahn is increasingly coming under fire

Free rapid tests should help contain the virus - and thus enable more loosening in the medium term. The demands for it are getting louder and louder. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) originally announced it for March 1. Now, however, it will only be discussed at the federal-state consultations on March 3rd. Spahn's plan provided that from March 1, all citizens could be tested free of charge by trained staff with rapid antigen tests, for example in test centers, doctor's offices or pharmacies.

Advantage of the rapid tests: The samples do not need to be sent to the laboratory for evaluation, but work in a similar way to pregnancy tests, as the ministry explains: the sample comes on a test strip that reacts with a discoloration. To do this, however, you have to have a nasal or throat swab taken by trained staff, which is uncomfortable. These antigen tests are also not considered to be as accurate as other PCR tests. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a positive result must therefore be confirmed by a PCR test.

Quick tests for laypeople promise more safety in everyday life

The widespread use of self-tests for laypeople is also approaching. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices has issued the first three special approvals for corona tests for use at home. During the tests, the samples are taken through a swab in the front of the nose. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Wednesday morning on ZDF: "I assume that we will be able to approve more and issue special approvals as early as next week."