Wednesday, January 19

Covid-19. Faced with explosion in demand, government will strengthen testing capacity

The outbreak of the Covid epidemic, due to the highly contagious variant Omicron, has confronted laboratories and pharmacies with a very high demand for screening tests. Every day, more than a million and a half people are indeed tested, with 270,000 positive cases daily on average over the last seven days.

Guest of BFM Politics this Sunday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced “a plan to strengthen our testing policy”. “Almost 10 million people” are tested per week but the lines are getting longer, he admitted, indicating that “we (were going) to increase the number of testing centers”.

Several hundred screening centers deployed

Concretely, the government spokesperson thus announces “the opening of screening centers near vaccination centers”, so that at low vaccination times, the professionals on site can perform tests.

“The second measure is to allow pharmacists to create their screening centers. We will give them the possibility of recruiting themselves temporarily health professionals who will come to work in their own small screening center so that there is more screening done in pharmacies, ”he added. In addition, it is according to him “to further expand the people authorized to do tests”, with Sunday morning a new decree published on the issue.

10 million additional self-tests in pharmacies

Finally, regarding self-tests, there are 6 million in stock in pharmacies, which “will receive an additional 10 million” next week, said Gabriel Attal. “We will guarantee the 6,000 pharmacies that do not do antigenic tests and self-tests that we will compensate the stocks that they would have ordered and that they would not sell,” he said.

The massive screening policy is currently very expensive and complicated to organize. “We assume it”, argued the spokesperson for the government. “Of course it makes sense to test” and “we will always push our testing capacities to the maximum,” he said, insisting on the idea that “the test is an essential tool for controlling the epidemic. “.

Regarding the vaccination pass, which was to come into force on January 15, the Secretary of State also indicated that due to the delay in examining the dedicated bill, this tool will be implemented “at the latest. in the first days of the week of January 17 ”.

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