Business is going on in Berlin, at least when it comes to private rapid test centers. An internet search shows that it is possible to take one of these tests in most corners of the German capital, from places dedicated to sex to churches to art galleries or lakes.
With antigen tests, which cost between 25 and 80 euros, the result only takes between 15 and 30 minutes to be known and they are 97% reliable.
But it’s not just about money. Benjamin Förckensperger, who made money from esports, opened a testing center after his family caught COVID-19, but had a hard time finding these tests. He got them with the help of a doctor.
Now you are concerned that some centers are saving costs. “When you do things well, follow the rules and abide by the laws, there is an economic cost. But when people do not do things well and do not make sure that everything is fine, then it is possible that a lot of money is made” .
Without bureaucratic obstacles
At this time, it is not possible to monitor how many private rapid test centers there are in Berlin. In the eyes of the State, the activity of these businesses is within the exercise of “free enterprise” which leaves the private testing market accessible to anyone.
Nurse Dirk Heckert, discovered with surprise how little bureaucracy was necessary when opening his own center. “By comparison, if you want to open, say, a sausage stand in Germany, it takes months and months of business. However, for a rapid test center, the process was very agile. That’s where the bad apples are, not they have to register. They just open up, get some publicity, and voila. We went the transparent route. So we sent a hygiene concept to the Berlin Senate and submitted an advertising registry. “
Concern among professionals
Now, in an open letter, local public health officials have called for stricter surveillance, fearing that not everyone who should be in quarantine is following the protocols: “The problem is that we have a few rapid test centers. they do not send test results, especially positive ones, to local health authorities, but pass them on directly to clients “, explains Dr. Nicolai Savaskan, one of the Public Health officials in the German capital.
Laboratories in Germany are overloaded and taking a test with a GP means more waiting time. But despite the lack of adequate controls in private centers, many put comfort before caution.