Bavaria launches corona test offensive

The southern German state of Bavaria announced on Sunday that it will offer coronavirus testing for all residents, news wires reported. "All Bavarian citizens will be promptly offered the opportunity to have themselves tested by an established contract physician, even without symptoms," state Health Minister Melanie Huml said, calling the campaign a "corona test offensive." The state will also foot the bill for tests that aren't covered by public health insurance.

Bavaria becomes the first German state to offer universal testing. Until now, testing has been focused on people with symptoms or possible exposure, as well as people whose professions increase the likelihood of coming into contact with the disease.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's disease control agency, Bavaria has recorded 48,294 coronavirus cases and 2,592 virus-related deaths, more than any other state.

The decision to over widespread testing follows a massive outbreak linked to a slaughterhouse in the western German state of North-Rhine Westfalia earlier this month.

German health minister Jens Spahn expressed support for Bavaria's testing plan, but said people shouldn't obtain a false sense of security.

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