"Underreporting of infections": doldrums in PCR tests increase the number of unreported cases of corona

The official number of corona cases in Germany is based on PCR test results.

"Underreporting of infections": doldrums in PCR tests increase the number of unreported cases of corona

The official number of corona cases in Germany is based on PCR test results. But because more and more people are only resorting to antigen tests, medical officers suspect that there are a considerable number of unreported cases. Expert Council member Nießen estimates that this is up to three times as high as the official figures.

Because fewer and fewer people are doing a PCR test, Germany's public health officers are assuming that the number of corona infections is far higher than officially stated. According to the newspapers of the editorial network Germany, Johannes Nießen, chairman of the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service (BVÖDG), estimates that the number of unreported cases of corona is about two to three times higher than the official figures. The fact that more and more people are undergoing an antigen test, but no longer carry out a PCR test, leads to "an under-recording of infections," explained Nießen, who also sits on the Federal Government's Expert Council.

The official total of the corona cases results from the reported positive PCR tests minus the deceased. "Only some of those who have a positive rapid test also do a PCR test for confirmation," confirmed the national chairman of the German General Practitioners Association, Ulrich Weigeldt. "For that reason alone, a high number of unreported cases can be assumed." According to the report, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) only registered 890,000 PCR tests in the week starting July 18. At peak times in January and March of this year, there were around 2.5 million tests per week.

The RKI is currently recording tens of thousands of corona infections every day. The seven-day incidence of 417.2 is well below the value of the previous week (578.1). In addition to the test behavior, however, late registrations or transmission problems can also lead to a distortion of individual daily values. In general, the number of registered new infections and deaths varies significantly from weekday to weekday, since many federal states do not transmit them to the RKI, especially at weekends, and report their cases later in the week. The RKI has counted 31,228,314 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher.

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