In Brief: Berlin to revise COVID-19 testing strategy as laboratories near capacity

Talks are underway about whether testing of travelers to Berlin should end, a move Berlin’s health senator opposes.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

 

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and William Glucroft

Updated on Tuesday, August 25 at 12 p.m.

Laboratories in Berlin are overworked because of coronavirus testing, with roughly 10,000 tests being processed each day last week alone.

Berlin Health Senator Dilek Kalayci said on Monday that the laboratories are at 93% of their capacity.

Talks are underway about whether testing of travelers to Berlin should end, a move the senator opposes.

Kalayci said the rate at which travelers are testing positive may only be 1%, but with tens of thousands of tests being conducted at Berlin’s transportation hubs, the rate is a worrying number.

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Deutsche Bahn said it will beef up mask enforcement at train stations, especially at night.

The rail company’s security chief, Hans-Hilmar Rischke, told the German tabloid Bild it is “unacceptable” that people are not wearing masks as required at stations and on trains.

Rischke said the company will add more security personnel at stations to enforce the pandemic measure, particularly in the evenings.

A random check of security camera footage at six rail stations in Hamburg showed near complete compliance of the rule during daytime hours, but about 80% at night.

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According to news agency dpa, a new survey in the journal Internationale Politik finds 76% of Germans believe relations between the EU and the United States will get better if Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November.

Relations between Germany and the U.S. are at a low point since Donald Trump became president.

A Pew Research Center study last January found only 13% of Germans had confidence in Trump’s leadership.

A survey last May by the nonprofit Körber Foundation found 87% of Germans feel Trump’s reelection will further harm U.S. and German relations.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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