Nuremberg (dpa / Lby) – Prime Minister Markus Söder and Health Minister Melanie Huml (both CSU) on Monday admitted delays in corona tests for returning travelers. But those should be cleared this week, he said after a cabinet meeting in Nuremberg. Several media had previously reported that test results were still not available for some vacationers a week after the smear test at the testing center.
So far, humanitarian organizations such as the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) have reduced the number of testing centers at airports, main train stations and motorway service stations. From now on, an external service provider will take care of the operation – from the smear test to the laboratory evaluation and sending the results. If everything is in one hand, the processes should run faster, Huml said.
The delays in transmitting test results are due to high demand and manual recording, a spokesperson for the health ministry said. The external service provider wishes to digitize the operational process, the objective being to communicate the result within 48 hours. If, for example, no electronic transmission is possible due to a lack of contact data, this could take longer.
The BRK attributes the delays in the corona tests in the initial phase to the short-term establishment of the test centers. “You should have given this good idea a little more time,” a spokesperson for BRK said on Monday. Overnight, test centers were built from the ground up. “Apparently, the administrative structures behind this haven’t had time to do the same,” the spokesperson said.
In any case, the BRK is not responsible for delays in the delivery of the test results: “We only do the throat swab.” Nevertheless, 100 to 150 callers would contact the aid agency every day to inquire about the results of their tests. The BRK now feared “damage to reputation”.
It is high time to replace the 2,000 test center volunteers. “It is not the primary task of humanitarian organizations to provide this offer to the Free State,” the spokesperson said. According to an agreement with the Bavarian Home Office, the assistants are to be gradually replaced by employees of a private service provider by the end of the week. According to the BRK, this should have initially happened on Friday.
So far, there have been a total of more than 60,000 tests at test centers for returning travelers at airports, major main stations and several stopovers near the border in Bavaria, Söder said on Monday. The offer of voluntary testing has been used incredibly.
In Bavaria, all travelers have been able to be tested voluntarily upon their arrival at Munich and Nuremberg airports since July 25, and since July 30 also at the main stations of Munich and Nuremberg and at service stations in Hochfelln-Nord (A8), Inntal-Ost (A93) and Donautal-Ost (A3) motorways. A test center was also installed at Memmingen airport at the beginning of August. For holidaymakers in risk areas, a national test has been in effect since Saturday.