Germany has increased the number of Covid-19 screenings to 500,000 a week, said Christian Drosten, virologist and director of the Charity Hospital in Berlin, on Thursday. According to him, this early detection can help in part to keep the number of deaths at a relatively low level.
About ten days ago, the WHO recommended to countries to do more tests.
“The reason why Germany has so few deaths compared to the number of people infected can be explained by the fact that we do a lot of laboratory diagnostics […] We do half a million tests every week in Germany, ”he said at a press conference.
Tests started earlier
Germany, however strongly affected by the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus with currently officially 36,508 cases listed, on the other hand has only 198 deaths from the disease. This country has one of the lowest mortality rates for people suffering from Covid-19 with 0.5% whereas it reaches 5.2% in France and 7% in Spain for example.
Charity director Heyo Kroemer added that Germany had started testing earlier than other countries affected by the pandemic. Christian Drosten further explained that the large network of laboratories throughout Germany had also facilitated rapid awareness of the virus and the need to carry out mass tests as quickly as possible.
A number greater than France
The German Research Ministry has said it wants to release an envelope of 150 million euros to support the establishment of a network that will further improve exchanges between laboratories and university hospitals. This network will also be responsible for compiling data on all patients with Covid-19 in order to have an overview of their medical history and their constitution and to help design a vaccine.
The figures announced by Germany are much higher than France. Monday evening, the Minister of Health Olivier Veran assured that 5,000 tests are carried out daily. Spain has announced that it will carry out 15,000 tests a day.
Screening tests are now offered by certain centers. On Wednesday, Cosem, a Parisian institution created 75 years ago, announced that it would carry out screening tests for Covid-19 in the premises of its Miromesnil centers (6, avenue Cesar-Caire, Paris VIIIe) and Atlas (15, rue de l’Atlas, Paris XIX). In Marseille, the Institut hospitalo-universitaire (IHU) Mediterranee Infections of this hospital, directed by Professor Didier Raoult, had announced a few days earlier that it would test all febrile patients free of charge.
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