Germany starts selling new at-home Covid-19 test kits

WION Web Team
Frankfurt am Main, GermanyUpdated: Mar 06, 2021, 07:21 PM IST
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Covid testing (representative image). Photograph:(AFP)

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According to multiple reports, stocks sold out within hours on Saturday.

Germany Saturday started selling new at-home Covid-19 test kits for which people flocked to supermarket chain Aldi to snap them up on the first day.

According to multiple reports, stocks sold out within hours.

Rival discounter Lidl meanwhile saw its website crash after it started offering at-home testing kits for sale online.

Aldi is limiting the purchases to one packet per person, containing five tests for 24.99 euros ($30). The test is done with a nasal swab and delivers a result within 15 minutes. 

Lidl's offer is similar and costs 21.99 euros.

Tests will also go on sale at major drug store chains and other outlets in the coming days.

The German government is relying heavily on rapid tests to steer country through the next phase of the pandemic as citizens tire of coronavirus shutdowns but the pace of vaccinations remains sluggish.

From Monday, all Germans will be entitled to one free rapid test a week, carried out by a professional at pharmacies or designated testing centres. Several manufacturers have also received regulatory approval for DIY tests meant for home use.

Health Minister Jens Spahn, already under fire over Germany's slow vaccination pace, has promised there will be "more than enough" rapid tests for everyone, including 50 million free tests a month.

Germany has struggled to bring down Covid-19 rates in recent weeks, with numbers plateauing and even rising on some days. 

The country added 9,557 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and another 300 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

(with inputs)