However, in order to be able to use the more reliable PCR tests across the board, the cost factor should also play a role. The usual PCR laboratory tests usually require a complex cold chain to ensure the test quality. The electricity, space and time requirements are reflected in the price. But recent innovations in the test equipment market could change that. Bechtold and Gregorini promise to enable PCR tests for less than 10 euros each. The two graduates from ETH Zurich have succeeded in developing a test device that ensures laboratory quality even without cooling and can be used on the go. This should make meaningful test results available to the general public. In fact, the cost advantage could allow for plans for a government-funded PCR testing strategy, such as that outlined in a Bundestag application were formulated, become somewhat more likely again. At least when the emergency of a corona autumn wave comes, as Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) already fears.
According to the United Nations Biodiversity Council (IPBES) , pandemics could occur more frequently in the future than before. IPBES expert Peter Daszak even sees them as an “existential threat to humanity” if biodiversity is not protected. This means that tests that can be used worldwide and with little effort could become increasingly important as an instrument for protection against infection. Some of the corona test devices like those from the Diaxxo AG are therefore already designed in such a way that other viruses can also be diagnosed with them. In this way, other contagious diseases such as malaria or dengue fever could be diagnosed quickly and health systems prevented from collapsing. Even if it is not yet certain how the corona situation and future pandemics will develop: In the eyes of many experts, an effective test strategy remains an important basis for interrupting chains of infection and taking targeted protective measures.