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German authorities want free coronavirus tests back Science news to improve quality of life |  DW

German authorities want free coronavirus tests back Science news to improve quality of life | DW

The president of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, called on Sunday (11/07) for the reintroduction of free coronavirus tests in the country, at a time when infection rates are breaking records in the country.

Free rapid tests, which served as a pass for most enclosed public spaces, were canceled on October 11 in an effort to encourage vaccination in Germany. Less than a month later, the strategy’s effectiveness is called into question.

“It is clear that defunding the cost of coronavirus testing did not spur refractory vaccinations,” Reinhardt told Funk Media Group, adding that federal and state officials should quickly correct this “mistake.”

Infection levels as of December 2020

A third of Germany’s population still does not have a complete vaccination schedule against the Corona virus. Proposals to make vaccination compulsory have met with resistance from officials such as Health Minister Jens Spahn, although opinion polls indicate that a majority of the population will support.

Klaus Reinhardt also advocates expanding the rule that allows only those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 to access restaurants, bars, cinemas and other public places. Leaders such as the rulers of Bavaria, Marcus Söder, and the rulers of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Fust, were also pushing for a return to free testing.

With the approach of the cold season, infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus are gradually increasing in Germany. On Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German government agency for disease control and prevention, recorded 23,543 new cases.

The seven-day infection rate rose to 191.5 new infections per 100,000 population, as December 2020 numbers approached, before vaccines became widely available.

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By (Reuters, AP, EFE)