Those who want to protect themselves and their fellow human beings from infection and regularly carry out corona self-tests are confronted with supply problems these days. The so-called antigen test kits are sold out in numerous supermarkets and drug stores in Hanover. The retail chains promise, however, that supplies are already on their way.
The product shortage is reminiscent of the toilet paper hamster purchases from the previous year. Although there was no reason for increased demand – after all, the coronavirus is not a bowel disease – many customers buy in advance. The trade ran into supply problems, and suddenly it was precisely those customers who had not stocked up on large supplies that were left behind. There had previously been a similar rush for disinfectants.
Now also self-test kits. A spokesman for the retail chain Rewe confirms that there has been “particularly high demand at certain points”. According to a random sample, nothing is available in several Rewe stores. In Rossmann’s drugstores, when the shelves are empty, they say that supplies are expected for Wednesday or Friday. The headquarters in Burgwedel confirms that “the demand for corona self-tests has risen continuously since September”.
At Edeka, a few test kits were still available on Monday in a market on Stephansplatz in the south of the city. At Lidl, the prices have risen parallel to the shrinking reserves: The time of the 80-cent tests is over, now the kits also cost two euros each in packs of five.
“Enough in stock”
However, none of the retail chains is expecting a persistent shortage economy. “We keep sufficient capacity at our warehouse locations and can cope with the increased demand accordingly,” says an increased demand from Edeka Minden-Hannover: “If items are not available at short notice in our weeks due to the increased demand, they will be replenished as soon as possible.” Statements made by the Rewe spokesman. “There are basically no supply and delivery bottlenecks, we have enough in stock,” he says. During the course of this week, the supplies will arrive during the week. At Rossmann, too, it is said that the shelves will soon be full again.
The lack of supplies is astonishing, because since Saturday citizens tests have been offered free of charge in the test centers. They are free of charge for users because they are accessible to the general public through the tax fund. However, one hears from the retail outlets that individual customers have picked up, in some cases, large quantities of test kits in the last few years. Small and medium-sized enterprises and freelancers could possibly stock up on tests in order to enable their employees to carry out daily tests in the factories.
Pharmacies can deliver
There are apparently still supplies in a number of pharmacies. There, however, the prices are usually a little higher than in the discounters and drugstores, they are around three euros per test.
After all: the supply of toilet paper and disinfectant seems to be large everywhere: There were no empty shelves for these products in any of the shops checked.
From Conrad v. Meding