Health Editor’s Note: Germany appears to be on the right track. The U.S. has fallen behind other nations in testing for COVID-19 and we are seeing continued levels of infections that bring with it deaths. Testing is the way to safely contain this pandemic so we can save lives and move towards a recovery…..Carol
With Broad, Random Tests For Antibodies, Germany Seeks Path Out of Lockdown
New York Times Berlin
The Munich antibody study, run by the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at Munich University Hospital, and cofinanced by the government of the state of Bavaria, is the biggest of several regional studies being rolled out in various corners of Germany. Still, scientists caution that there is no proof yet that the detection of antibodies signals effective immunity and even if it does, it is not known how long that immunity might last.
Nationally, the Robert Koch Institute, the government’s central scientific institution in the field of biomedicine, is testing 5,000 samples from blood banks across the country every two weeks and 2,000 people in four hot spots who are farther along in the cycle of the disease.
Its most ambitious project, aiming to test a nationwide random sample of 15,000 people across the country, is scheduled to begin next month.
“In the free world, Germany is the first country looking into the future,” said Prof. Michael Hoelscher, who heads up the Munich study, noting that a number of countries had already asked him for the protocol to be able to replicate it. “We are leading the thinking of what to do next.”