“Fought to the end” – Vienna continues to gargle and test roads open


The city of Vienna has now determined how the new testing strategy will work from Friday – and relies on a proven system: both the PCR test program “Garg everything” and the test lanes will remain. The cabinet of Alderman for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) announced this on Thursday.

But because the number of tests is being limited by the federal government, Hacker complains that everything is becoming “much more bureaucratic”. In the future, symptoms can be claimed through the Gurgel portal – more than five free tests can be obtained through this.

In principle, all Vienna can carry out five PCR tests per month, as stipulated in the federal regulation (see graph at the rules below). People who still have gargle test kits at home from March can exceptionally use ten free PCR tests in April.

More than five tests in exceptional cases
However, as of April 1, there will only be a contingent of five tests per month available for collection. As before, they can be obtained from the partner Bipa and transferred to the Rewe Group sites. The quota is expanded for exceptional reasons – such as visits to hospitals or nursing homes. You do not have to pay anything for the study, even when it comes to clarification about Covid-specific symptoms or free testing from the fifth day.

In this case, you can login to Allesgurgelt.at and then click on one of the exceptions. For this test you will receive a personalized barcode, which you can use to buy a test set at the Bipa branch. But there also remains a stationary test offer, it is emphasized – for example for people who cannot perform a gargle test for medical reasons.

Gargle boxes also remain open
The test lanes, throat boxes and cold check boxes remain open to date, City Council Hacker’s office told APA. Depending on the degree of future use, the situation will be continuously reassessed in April. For example, people with symptoms have various options for further testing for free. In addition to the gargle program and the test stations, it is still possible to contact 1450 or your GP.

Pharmacy tests should remain possible
“We fought until the last second in Vienna to keep our test system. Now the federal government has made a decision to which we must ultimately submit. Unfortunately, it will certainly be much more bureaucratic. Not only for the government, but especially for the citizens “said Councilor Health Hacker about the reshuffle. Incidentally, it should also remain possible to purchase free tests in pharmacies, at least that is what we are aiming for.

“We regret that the federal government has removed the pharmacies from the test scheme and canceled the contracts with the pharmacies. There are many people who still need a physical test offer for medical reasons or because of their age. That is why we have the Chamber of Pharmacists invited to enter into negotiations with the consortium of bidders in Vienna. We are confident that these ongoing discussions will lead to a positive conclusion and hope that pharmacies will want to be part of the trial offer in Vienna in the future,” he emphasized.

Direct processing by pharmacies is not possible
As a spokesperson for the APA municipal council explained when asked, it is not possible to entrust the processing directly to the pharmacies. This is for legal reasons. The consortium of bidders around Lifebrain – the laboratory that evaluates the throat tests – is currently being commissioned. There was a corresponding tender for this. The pharmacies could therefore only be engaged as subcontractors by the consortium itself.

Source: Krone


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