German well being ministers to debate management mechanisms for coronavirus check centres

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn speaks at a press conference on the current situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Berlin on May 21, 2021. Stefanie Loos / Pool via REUTERS

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn and his colleagues in the 16 federal states will discuss control mechanisms for coronavirus test centers on Monday morning after allegations of fraud, a ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

Since allegations of potential fraud at multiple vendors were published earlier this week and Spahn said on Saturday that there will be stricter controls, a debate has begun about how testing centers should be controlled and who should be responsible.

“Wherever fraud occurs, everyone must know that it can be punished quite severely,” Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht told the ARD broadcaster. “This message must also be sent by the state that such controls are enforced and that the corresponding legal consequences will then follow.”

Germany offers its citizens at least one free coronavirus test per week, with several federal states offering one free test per day. The state pays 18 euros per test. As a result, private test centers have been set up en masse in the past few weeks.

Some coronavirus test centers have billed more tests than they carried out, reported the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the ARD broadcaster this week. Continue reading

The leader of the Greens, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, said the fraud reports had contributed to a further loss of confidence. “We need much better management again to regain confidence in politics and democracy.”

The number of new coronavirus cases in Germany fell further this weekend. The Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases reported an increase in cases of 3,852 on Sunday, 2,862 less than a week earlier. The 7-day infection rate fell from around 64 in the last week to 35 per 100,000 people.

So far, 3.68 million cases have been recorded in Germany, the death toll is 88,406. Around 42% of the population had received at least one first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, 17% had received their second dose.

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