In Germany, the coronavirus is spreading almost everywhere. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the number of new infections was 684 on Wednesday. On a seven-day average, the number of daily new infections is again around 570 cases – previously, the value was between 300 and 500 cases daily for weeks. According to the RKI, the start of the return trip wave is jointly responsible for the increase. Unlike at the beginning of the outbreak, the cases are not concentrated in individual regional hotspots. According to the RKI, there are many small herds of infection almost nationwide.
In view of the increasing number of infections, the government and opposition are urging the rapid implementation of the recently adopted mandatory corona tests for returning travelers. The Federal Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday that the federal government would finance the additional testing options planned. A spokeswoman for the ministry said the costs would be covered by an increased subsidy to the statutory health insurance.
SPD sees a need for discussion
SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich, however, announced that there was still a need for discussion. “If the general public is now to pay for people who have carelessly endangered themselves by traveling to a risk area, I find it difficult,” said Mützenich. But of course there are also traceable trips to high-risk areas, such as family obligations, the SPD parliamentary group leader conceded. “We will have to talk about this and other details again,” Mützenich continued. He asked Spahn to submit the relevant regulation as soon as possible.
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, however, advocated a pragmatic solution. “If we did not bear the costs, the high-risk devices would not be able to be tested. In other words, the people who behave ruthlessly at holiday resorts, such as most recently in Spain. Now a very quick and unbureaucratic solution has to be found, ”he said. From the point of view of Lauterbach, it is also justifiable in the current situation that private health insurance companies do not contribute to the costs of the mandatory tests. “The existing injustices of the system are not an important issue at the moment.”
Association sees the federal government as a duty
The Association of Private Health Insurance rejected the accusation of passing the costs on to the general public. “If the legislator orders mass tests of people without symptoms of illness, it is a task for society to protect against infection. According to the association, the costs would therefore have to be paid from tax funds, ”said a spokesman.
Dietmar Bartsch, chairman of the Left in the Bundestag, criticizes the public’s funding of the tests. “There is no reason that the seller or the people who, due to caution or lack of money, have decided not to travel abroad should now pay for the cost of testing all travelers,” he said. “It is reasonable to assume at least a proportion of individual costs,” said Bartsch. “However, it should have been announced before the holidays.”
Procedure in the event of refusal unclear
The compulsory test should come into force in the coming week. It is still unclear how it will be implemented in individual cases if returning travelers refuse to take the test. Testing using force would also be theoretically conceivable. “If the administrative order for the corona test obligation is to be enforced by force, it is the job of the police. In the end, we have to enforce law and ultimately also with coercion, ”said Jörg Radek, Vice-Chief of the Police Union (GdP). However, the decision as to how the test obligation should be enforced must still be made at the state level.
Radek appealed to the citizens’ sense of responsibility: “The obligation to test requires a high degree of understanding from the population, because such a test is an intervention in physical integrity. Basically, one has to weigh up the physical integrity of the individual and the interests of society. We have a case here that we haven’t had in social interaction. ” The GdP Vice-President added: “I expect the return of travelers to be able to see and a willingness to voluntarily take the Corona test.” (rnd)