BERLIN (AA) - Germany is considering to significantly increase its coronavirus testing capacity and conduct up to 200,000 coronavirus tests a day to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths, Der Spiegel weekly reported on Friday.
In a confidential report submitted to Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Interior Ministry underlined the importance of continued restrictions to public life for two months, and suggested conducting massive coronavirus testing like South Korea to prevent a “worst case scenario”, according to the weekly.
The report warned that if strict restrictions on public life would not be imposed, and infected people could not be identified and isolated through widespread testing, the “worst case scenario” could happen, where 70% of the population would be infected, hospitals would be overburdened, and the number of coronavirus victims could be more than 1 million.
The Interior Ministry’s report, which was written by a group of experts after consultations with other relevant institutions, proposed significantly increasing the country’s testing capacity in the coming weeks, conducting at least 100,000 tests a day beginning from April 13, and increasing this to 200,000 tests a day at the end of April.
The report also suggested setting up temporary mobile test centers.
Germany is currently conducting 300,000 tests in a week, according to the Health Ministry.
Coronavirus cases in the country continued to rise on Friday despite recent lockdown measures to stem the spread of virus.
The number of cases climbed to 47,457, while the death toll rose to 296, according to the Berlin-based website Coronavirus-Monitor, which compiles up-to-date numbers from local health authorities.
Germany is the third-worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 175 countries and regions, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The data shows more than 566,200 cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll over 25,400 and around 127,700 recoveries.