The PCR test regime, which is currently inadequate in many federal states – as can be seen from the school tests – is being redesigned. From the second quarter of 2022 there should be an Austria-wide test network, Major General Thomas Starlinger announced in the “Kurier” (Saturday edition). It’s too late for the omicron wave. But it is about “not getting into such a situation again in the future”.
As part of the national Covid crisis coordination (Gecko), he was commissioned by the government to develop a concept for an Austria-wide PCR test network. There has already been talks with laboratory operators about this, and next week he will be talking to supermarket and drugstore chains and other possible partners, reports Starlinger.
The expansion could only start in April – which is “very sporty” anyway, since the construction of a high-quality laboratory capacity alone takes eight to twelve weeks, Starlinger noted. A new tender by the Federal Procurement GmbH will also be necessary.
In the first quarter, however, the current PCR resources will be sufficient and regional priorities – such as in the hospital sector – will have to be set. Antigen tests in test streets and pharmacies could be expanded in the short term, although from a scientific point of view they should only be valid for twelve hours. And level 3, the living room antigen tests, should “actually only be used in the private sector”.
With the new Corona Protection Measures Ordinance passed on Thursday, these self-administered tests (if they are recorded by an official data processing system) can be recognized again in 3G areas (such as at the workplace). However, the city of Vienna gave up and did not allow these tests anymore.