Saxony: LUA boss: Corona burdens main business

Dresden (dpa/sn) - In addition to swine fever, the corona pandemic is affecting the actual "business" of the Saxon State Investigation Institute (LUA).

Saxony: LUA boss: Corona burdens main business

Dresden (dpa/sn) - In addition to swine fever, the corona pandemic is affecting the actual "business" of the Saxon State Investigation Institute (LUA). "Both pandemics are expanding and occupying us," says President Jens Albrecht. "We have our hands full to actually secure normal operations." The staff can now be deployed flexibly, the equipment has been "upgraded", automated and the sample volume is very well under control. At the moment the entrance is manageable. "While we had 4,000 to 5,000 corona samples per week at peak times, we are currently at 200 to 300." But that could also go up again, "we are very well prepared for it".

For months, human and veterinary medicine have been particularly challenged, as planned samples are processed in food monitoring, such as certain quantities of so-called body-related commodities. These are, for example, cosmetic products or the new drinking straws made of cardboard or paper. "The very good management of our colleagues helps us to reduce work peaks in the respective areas," says Albrecht. "We have the situation under control at the moment and if a new wave comes and the numbers go up, we know how to react."

The LUA only examines samples for Sars-CoV-2 from community facilities such as daycare centers, schools, authorities or care facilities and therefore only depicts part of the overall infection process. "In fact, at the moment the frequency of rehearsals has decreased by a factor of 10."

According to Albrecht, food testing was also somewhat relieved by the consequences of Corona. The proportion of samples including cosmetics and consumer goods has decreased slightly, and fewer ready meals from snack bars to supermarkets have had to be tested. "Locals, caterers and restaurants were closed during the lockdown." Only a few areas are at the level before Corona, also because of the social environment.

"At the moment it's communicating tubes: we're starting up normal operations again, as social life has started up, but the number of corona samples is falling significantly." A "summer wave" is not yet visible at the LUA, but Albrecht expects it to rise again by autumn at the latest. "Because then the activity shifts more indoors again."

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