BOZEN (dpa-AFX) – More than 210,000 people took part in the corona mass test in the northern Italian province of South Tyrol by Saturday. The rush to the test stations in the small Alpine province remained large on the second day. As the authorities further announced on the Internet, a total of 2305 people (1.1 percent) received a positive corona result for their smear by 4 p.m. The central phase of the serial check-up for the Sars-CoV-2 virus runs until Sunday evening.
The state government wants to break the second corona wave faster with the action. Virus carriers who have no idea of their infection are to be discovered. They are considered a dangerous source of infection. A good half a million people live in the province of Bolzano-South Tyrol, over which a partial lockdown has been imposed. The authorities hope that in the end two-thirds of citizens will take a rapid antigen test. That would be about 350,000 people. If the action slows the pandemic, the politicians want to lift their classification as a red zone as soon as possible. The Italian government in Rome has ordered strict exit restrictions for such high-risk zones. In addition, many shops there have to be closed.
According to experts, the success of a mass test depends heavily on a high participation rate. Critics complain that the results of rapid antigen tests are not reliable enough. Austria is also planning mass tests, and Slovakia is already in a new round with its series tests.
Eugen Brysch, chairman of the Patient Protection Foundation, considers taking over the mass tests for Germany unsuitable. Such demands are “flash in the pan”, he explained to the dpa. “Because basic infection protection, contact documentation and laboratory-based PCR tests cannot be replaced in this way.” Rather, there is a risk that infected people would weigh themselves in sham security because of a negative test.
South Tyrol’s governor Arno Kompatscher admitted that the mass test was “not a panacea and also not the solution to the problem”. Instead, he referred to a vaccine in the “Kleine Zeitung” in Austria. The action could help to “shorten the lockdown” ./ pky / DP / fba