close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
August 14, 2020

Germany admits delay in thousands of virus test results

World

AFP
August 14, 2020

Berlin: Bavarian premier Markus Soeder was forced to apologise Thursday over an embarrassing delay to thousands of coronavirus test results, just as Germany was seeing a new spike in virus cases.

Some 44,000 people who took advantage of free coronavirus tests in the southern German state have had to wait more than a week for their results, Bavarian health minister Melanie Huml admitted on Wednesday.

These included around 1,000 who tested positive, Huml said at Thursday’s press conference, adding that 900 of them had now been identified and were being informed after officials worked through the night to clear the backlog.

Many of those tested were travellers returning to Bavaria and other parts of Germany after their holidays. "This is a difficult situation, no question," Soeder told a press conference in Munich, calling the delays "annoying" and "regrettable".

"The entire state government is sorry that these mistakes were made... and that now many people are unsettled," he said.

Huml said the delay, which affected tests carried out at centres along the region’s motorways and in train stations, had been caused by problems with processing handwritten contact details.

Soeder said his health minister had offered her resignation but he had not accepted it, calling the delay a failure "not of strategy, but of execution". Green party politician Michael Kellner, however, said on Twitter that it was "the result of a policy that focuses on style instead of substance".

Soeder has won plaudits for his handling of the coronavirus crisis in Bavaria, being the first to implement several measures in his state that were later adopted on a federal level. He has also topped recent surveys on who Germans would like to see as their next chancellor after Angela Merkel’s term comes to an end in autumn 2021.

But the testing debacle could dent his public image, coming just as concerns grow in Germany over rising virus cases and the possibility of a second wave. The country recorded 1,445 new cases in 24 hours on Thursday -- the highest number seen since early May. Numbers have been slowly creeping up over the past few weeks, with ministers blaming travellers returning from holidays and young people having parties.