The Labor Augsburg MVZ laboratory in Bavaria has blamed a high number of tests and time pressure after recording 58 out of 60 false positives in a week.

Gabriele Schoen, Managing Director of the Labor Augsburg MVZ laboratory, told Munich’s daily newspaper Muenchener Merkur that it’s not possible for them to constantly “double check” tests when they provided a positive result”, as they were under pressure and working with a “lack of equipment”.

The laboratory was found to have wrongly diagnosed 58 out of 60 coronavirus tests it identified as positive during a one-week period, after testing samples again following an unusual spike in confirmed cases. The false positives raise questions around the reliability of the results that are being provided in the region, as Germany weighs introducing a new lockdown to combat the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.

The testing issue was reportedly caused when the laboratory’s supplier did not deliver their normal reagent, forcing them to use an alternative one that was not compatible with its testing process.

It is not currently clear whether any other regions or testing sites have been affected, with a German Health Ministry spokesman saying there was no evidence to doubt the “validity and accuracy” of PCR molecular testing.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier responded to the news by stating that he does not believe there are a large number of unreliable coronavirus tests despite the situation at the Bavarian laboratory, suggesting it could have been an outlier limited to one location.

As of 28th October, 464,239 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Germany since the start of the pandemic, with 10,183 people dying from the virus, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

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