2021-03-02

NoCovid Group in Favor of Considerably More Coronavirus Testing in Germany

Extensive testing, faster contact tracing and rapid vaccination Basis for possible openings

The NoCovid group’s scientists, including HZI researchers Prof Melanie Brinkmann and Prof Michael Meyer-Hermann, have called for extensive testing, faster contact tracing, and a rapid rollout of vaccinations in Germany, arguing that only then will it be possible to open up the economy again. Any reopening in the immediate future threatens to quickly undo the hard-won successes of recent weeks, the group writes in a new paper. This means testing must become a part of everyday life. “If we want the economy to recover, any reopening has to be backed by an effective testing strategy and must not be permitted to lead to a resurgence of infections,” says Clemens Fuest, ifo President and a member of the group.

Man with medical face mask stands on the crowded urban street© Adobe Stock/realstock1If, for example, policymakers want to open up cultural services and the service sector in general, it would be advisable to make the reopening contingent on rapid antigen testing plans, adapted hygiene concepts, and digital data collection. Since this approach would avoid infections, adopting it would be in the best interests of providers of cultural and other services.

Testing should be conducted at the slightest sign of symptoms and for people at high risk. In red zones with high infection rates, everyone should be tested twice a week. Students and teachers everywhere should be tested twice a week, and so should the children and staff in daycare centers. The same should apply to all employees not working from home as well as to those in public authorities and refugee housing.

Testing is a critical tool for keeping the infection rate in check. The aim should be to bring case numbers down and prevent them from going up again. Infections must be detected early and infected people must self-isolate so as not to pass on the virus. To be effective, testing needs to be frequent, widespread, and easily accessible.

Find here the press release of the ifo Institute: https://www.ifo.de/en/node/61957 

Original publication:

Baumann, Menno / Beier, Markus / Brinkmann, Melanie / Brockmann, Dirk / Bude, Heinz / Fuest, Clemens / Feldner, Denise / Hallek, Michael / Kickbusch, Ilona / Mayer, Maximilian / Meyer-Hermann, Michael / Peichl, Andreas / Rosert, Elvira / Schneider, Matthias.  Eine neue proaktive Zielsetzung für Deutschland zur Bekämpfung von SARS-CoV-2 3. Teil: Teststrategien. Wissenschaftlergruppe der NoCovid-Strategie, 2021.

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