Infections involving coronavirus variants in Berlin
Variants such as B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 are currently attracting attention, as they could have an impact on infection rates. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Vivantes – Netzwerk für Gesundheit GmbH responded to this development at an early stage, subjecting all samples returning positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results to specific genotyping assays which test for the presence of these mutations. Genotyping was conducted at Labor Berlin – Charité Vivantes GmbH, a joint subsidiary of the two organizations. The Labor Berlin website now publishes the numbers of infections identified in samples from Vivantes, Charité and external contributors. The aim is to gain a better overview of coronavirus infections in Berlin.
Together, Charité and Vivantes cover approximately 40 percent of all hospitalized patients in Berlin. The data collated by their joint subsidiary, Labor Berlin, therefore serve as an important indicator for the spread of coronavirus variants of concern (VOCs).
Dr. Johannes Danckert, Executive Director of Hospital Management, Vivantes: “A clear overview of infections and developments provides the best possible position from which to control the spread of these new variants. We want to create more transparency in this area and will therefore be publishing our infection statistics for the new variants on the Labor Berlin website. To optimize our ability to track the rapidly evolving situation of new variants within the region, it would be helpful if other hospital operators and laboratories were to follow this example.”
Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer, Charité’s Chief Executive Officer: “Labor Berlin initiated routine testing for variants early on in the pandemic. Large numbers of SARS-CoV-2 samples from both hospital providers and other institutions have been undergoing additional testing to identify mutations. This program was initially developed at Charité’s Institute of Virology, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten. All routine coronavirus testing has since moved to Labor Berlin. All samples which test positive for SARS-CoV-2 undergo additional, mutation-specific PCR testing to confirm the presence or absence of the variants currently of particular concern. This is enormously helpful in keeping track of the pandemic situation in Berlin.”
Infection statistics for all identified variants will be updated on a weekly basis at:
Labor Berlin has more than 600 members of staff working across 13 sites. Labor Berlin processes more than 65 million laboratory tests every year, serving more than 23,000 hospital beds. Founded in 2011 as the first joint subsidiary of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Vivantes – Netzwerk für Gesundheit, Labor Berlin is the largest hospital laboratory in Europe.
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
t: +49 30 450 570 400
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