German labs did 332,414 coronavirus tests last week - association

  • World
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

FILE PHOTO: A member of the medical staff shows a used sample container at a test centre for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Havelhoehe community hospital in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German labs processed 332,414 tests for the coronavirus last week, up 5.9% from a week earlier, a trade group said on Tuesday, adding that the industry had some spare capacity for more intense diagnostic activity if required by healthcare policy makers.

The ALM association of certified laboratories in Germany said in a media briefing that its tally covered about 85%-90% of all coronavirus testing carried out in Germany and that there were currently no problems in putting into practice the nation's testing policy, as defined by the Robert Koch institute of infectious diseases.

Under ideal conditions, such as sufficient supply of testing chemicals and material, the industry could in theory run about 100,000 tests in Germany per day, the trade group said.

"We haven't received more demand for tests under the current testing policy," ALM board member Evangelos Kotsopoulos said in a media briefing, adding it was not clear how far the supply of test kits and reagents would last if labs were pushed to the limits of their potential.

When asked about average weekly testing figures of 500,000, mentioned last month by Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology at Berlin's Charite hospital in Berlin, trade group ALM said it could not confirm the figures and that it may have been a reflection of available testing capacity.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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