Jens spahn’s idea sounded good: nursing homes and hospitals are to be equipped with antigen rapid tests across the board. Visitors and employees should know within 15 minutes whether they are infected with the virus or not. Only when the test gives the green light are they allowed to enter the nursing home or hospital. Theoretically.
"Antigen tests offer the opportunity to test more and detect infections more quickly.", declares the federal ministry of health. The risk groups – old and sick people – could be protected even better this way. This test regulation comes into force today. We would like to know how the quick tests are carried out in practice and ask in our local nursing homes. They would like to answer our questions, but they can’t. The tests have not yet arrived.
Karin buttner takes it with humor on wednesday: "maybe there will be a few boxes in front of the door tomorrow." the director of the lucas cranach senior citizens’ residence of the diakonie does not really believe in this, however, because: "so far we have not received any notification of what we have to do."
That’s why the employees at the flugelbahnhof are carrying on as before for the time being. The main entrance to the retirement home remains closed, and visitors can only enter through the side entrance during office hours. The appointment must be made in advance by telephone. If the rapid tests come back, the employees will intercept the people there and only allow them access if the result is negative.
"Everything we know, we have only learned through the media", also describes the caritas nursing home st. Elisabeth in wallenfels. In marktrodach, we can’t get any help either. "I am just as smart as the others. We haven’t heard anything from any official body yet", reports the manager of the ASB senior center patrick barnickel in marktrodach. Although new information on hygiene and safety inspections was received regularly. But regarding the rapid tests: still nothing.
It was buried barnickel if his employees had the opportunity to test visitors for the virus. "The risk of something getting into the home is the highest among the visitors. And the safety of our residents is the most important thing."
Meanwhile, peter schulz, director of the BRK senior citizens’ home in ludwigsstadt, wonders how the quick tests will go. "Can we run them through ourselves at all??" at least the ministry of health has already answered this question on its website: "all rapid antigen tests currently on the market must be performed by trained medical personnel"." how this will look in practice will become clear when the tests have arrived in kronach.
But where are they? Peter schulz has a hunch: "perhaps we have simply been forgotten here in kronach." can that be true? We call a few old people’s homes in munich. But in the state capital, too, testing has apparently not yet begun: "we haven’t heard anything yet either", confirms the employee of a home on the phone. However, she does not find this surprising: "this has been going on for the whole of the corona era, with the politicians making pronouncements and the concrete instructions only coming after a week or even later."
Maybe the district office in kronach can help, we hope. But according to press spokesman alexander loffler, no information is available there either. In any case, there are no tests yet. However, we then receive a tip from BRK district manager roland beierwaltes: "we have learned from our association that there will be detailed information from the bavarian state government this week." similar to the corona weddings, when the local associations of the technical aid organization distributed materials such as masks and gloves, the THW helpers would then probably also promptly supply the senior citizens’ homes with the rapid tests.
We received the following response to our inquiry from the bavarian ministry of health and care: "the bavarian ministry of health has secured a total of 10.5 million rapid antigen tests for the free state until at least the end of january 2021." the rapid antigen tests could be an important support in the fight against the corona pandemic, although they are not a full substitute for the more accurate PCR tests. However, we do not receive an answer to the question of when this important support will be delivered.
Finally, someone at the source sheds some light on the issue: member of the bundestag hans michelbach. The news that there are apparently no rapid tests yet comes as a surprise to the christian socialist. "I have heard from a few other federal states that they are already being applied regionally there." michelbach promises to check with the secretary of state in the ministry of health, and shortly afterwards he gets back to us: "the ministry is now investigating the problem and taking care of it."
All just a gross misunderstanding?
And finally, shortly before the editorial deadline, we receive a call from the ministry itself. This, we are told, sets the legal framework for the rapid tests. However, the self-government is responsible for the implementation. Social insurance carriers, municipalities and associations pay for this. Depending on the number of residents, a certain monthly quota is available to nursing homes: 50 rapid tests per resident. With this contingent, visitors and staff can then also be tested. However, they are taking care of the tests themselves on site. What this looks like in practice varies from state to state and from municipality to municipality. That’s the way it is with self-administration.
Now we also know why no rapid tests have arrived in kronach or elsewhere: if a municipality doesn’t know that it has to take care of the rapid tests itself, it doesn’t do them. It takes time for laws and regulations to be communicated, according to the ministry of health. We have noticed that. At least we in kronach now know what we have to do.
This is how the corona rapid tests work:
The test is based on the detection of SARS-cov-2 egg cells. For this purpose, a swab must be taken from the nasopharynx, which is then placed in a control solution. Rapid antigen tests must be carried out by trained medical personnel.
The simpler evaluation of an antigen test also allows the tests to be carried out outside a laboratory, for example in a care facility or medical facilities and doctors’ practices without a diagnostic laboratory. After 15 to 20 minutes, the test should indicate whether someone is infected or not.
In the meantime, the various manufacturers of the rapid tests are advertising an accuracy of between 96 and 99 percent.