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Evaluation in the laboratory: NRW wants to offer "lollipop tests" at all elementary and special schools

Evaluation in the laboratory : NRW wants to offer "lollipop tests" at all elementary and special schools

In NRW, all elementary and also special-needs schools are to be offered so-called lollipop tests to detect a corona infection by mid-May. The method does not require a stick to be inserted into the nose or throat; instead, children suck on the swab.

North Rhine-Westphalia plans to offer so-called lollipop tests to detect corona infections at all elementary and special schools in the state by mid-May. This was said by school state secretary Mathias Richter to the "Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung". The scope, he said, is huge. "We're talking about almost 735,000 children here, and for that we currently need laboratory capacity for around 35,000 tests a day," he explained.

The so-called lollipop method does not require a stick to be inserted into the nose or deeper into the throat. Instead, children suck on a swab - the "lollipop" - for 30 seconds. The swabs are then analyzed in a laboratory. The tests are PCR tests, which are considered very accurate in detecting infections with the coronavirus. In Cologne, the tests are already in use in daycare centers and schools.

North Rhine-Westphalia is now the first federal state to start using them. The fact that they are not yet available throughout NRW is due to the complex logistics involved, explained State Secretary Richter. It would take about a dozen suitable laboratories, a secure logistics concept and reliable material procurement. "More than 400 routes have to be traveled every day, samples collected, brought to the laboratories and evaluated," he explained to the "WAZ" newspaper.

(Original text: (dpa); Translation: Mareike Graepel)