The number fluctuates but rises steadily, the Senate Department for Health informed on Monday (17 January 2022) on request of the German Press Agency (dpa). From Dec. 13 to 19, there were 9826 PCR tests at state-owned testing centers and 3181 at commercial testing sites. Last week, from Jan. 10 to 16, there were 32,197 tests at state-owned testing centers and 14,736 at commercial testing sites.
Sharp increase in the number of PCR tests in Berlin
The number of PCR tests in Berlin has increased considerably to almost 47,000 per week.
Laboratories expand capacities
"The labs are expanding their capacities as much as possible," a spokeswoman said - that won't be enough for the Omicron wave, however. "That's why the Federal Health Minister has announced a prioritization for PCR tests." The exact implementation of this prioritizaition has not yet been determined, the spokeswoman explained: "For example, it would be conceivable to prioritize symptomatic individuals and vulnerable groups when it comes to the limited number of available PCR tests."
Motion to amend the Coronavirus testing strategy
Berlin has already submitted an application to amend the Coronavirus testing strategy, as was stated in a draft decision submitted to the health ministers ahead of a video conference on Monday evening. The motion is intended to counteract an overload of laboratory capacities.
Senator for Health: PCR testing capacities insufficient
Berlin's Senator for Health, Ulrike Gote (Green Party), has pointed out several times in the past week that PCR testing capacities would not suffice in the face of the increasing demand. On Thursday, she told the House of Representatives: "We can, of course, increase PCR testing capacities a bit more in Berlin, and we are doing so." To achieve that, she announced longer opening hours and more staff for the state-owned testing centers, among other things. "But one thing is also clear: It won't be enough in the end."