Germany brings back free COVID-19 tests as leaders warn of bleak situation – Community News

Germany brings back free COVID-19 tests as leaders warn of bleak situation

A visitor to the “Emilia senior residence” aged care facility undergoes testing as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Darmstadt, Germany, May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

BERLIN, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – Germany will reintroduce free COVID-19 testing from Saturday, acting health minister Jens Spahn said Friday, as part of measures to stem a spate of COVID-19 cases. brakes.

The free tests, first offered from March as a way to compensate for a slow vaccine rollout, will be back in service a month after they were allowed to run out, as the infection rate hit a record fifth day on Tuesday. row on friday.

Figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) public health authority previously showed that 263.7 out of 100,000 people were infected in the past week.

Spahn also said he supported a stricter requirement that would mean that people who have been vaccinated and/or recovered must take a negative coronavirus test to attend public events as well as others.

“We must do everything necessary to break this momentum,” Spahn said.

RKI head Lothar Wieler said he was against major events in general, especially in light of the upcoming holidays, and warned that the situation was serious.

“At least 90% of people in Germany must have immunity to the coronavirus, otherwise we will not get the virus under control,” Wieler said at the press conference in Berlin.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health, more than 67% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Stricter measures to counter the wave of COVID-19 cases plaguing the country are supported by half of Germans, more than twice as many as two weeks ago, a poll showed on Friday.

Only 32% of respondents were satisfied with the existing regulations and 49% wanted it to be stricter, according to the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen survey of 1,257 Germans, conducted from 9 to 11 November for broadcaster ZDF.

Two weeks ago, only 20% wanted the measures tightened.

Reporting by Miranda Murray, Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Zuzanna Szymanska and Hugh Lawson

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