Too many unanswered questions: Merkel cashes in on Spahn's rapid test plans


Too many open questions
Merkel collects Spahn's rapid test plans

The free corona rapid tests for everyone should actually come on March 1st. Nothing will come of that: Chancellor Merkel sees a need for discussion with the federal states.

The introduction of free rapid tests announced by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn for March 1 is apparently delayed. This is reported by the "Bild" newspaper. According to this, Chancellor Angela Merkel postponed the date for today's meeting of the Corona Cabinet because Spahn did not have sufficient answers to her questions about capacities and permits.

The introduction of the free corona tests is now targeted for March 8, according to the paper. In the morning in the CDU presidium, Merkel had promised openings. At the same time, it restricted the opening steps to be accompanied by increased tests.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said after consultations with the Corona cabinet that the federal government wanted to discuss the expansion of the rapid tests with the federal states. The federal and state corona summit will not take place until March 3rd.

These tests could be a means of securing opening steps on a daily basis, according to Seibert. It should also be clarified how many rapid tests can be given to everyone free of charge. The federal government is to finance this. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health made it clear, however, that the state will not cover the costs of companies that have already regularly tested their employees. He also emphasized that discussions with manufacturers had secured 500 million rapid tests this year.

Spahn had announced that from March 1, all citizens will be offered free rapid tests that have to be approved by trained staff. In addition, the way should be paved for self-tests for laypeople. The rapid tests can already be used in nursing homes, clinics and, after infection, in schools, for example. However, these antigen tests are not considered to be as precise as other PCR tests. According to the Robert Koch Institute, a positive result must therefore be confirmed by a PCR test.