Covid-19: nearly twelve million tests carried out in one week, the previous record shattered


These are mainly antigenic tests, the self-tests are not counted. The peaks of Christmas 2020 or summer 2021 are largely over.

The curve continues to climb, reaching impressive heights. Pharmacists and laboratory assistants are busy trying to follow the spread of the Omicron variant across the territory, and the figures prove it: according to the latest data published by the latest data from the Research Directorate, studies , Evaluation and Statistics (Drees), attached to the Ministry of Health, nearly twelve million RT-PCR and antigen tests were validated last week.

Specifically, 11.96 million samples were counted, two thirds of which were antigenic. This figure already colossal in itself, a “new record», Does not represent all the tests carried out in France, self-tests being excluded. However, it shows that in seven days, more than one in six French people, theoretically – some carrying out several tests per week – was tested. The overall balance sheet is experiencing a dazzling increase of 44% compared to the previous week, or 3.65 million more, even though this period already represented a new all-time high. In addition, the previous peaks are pulverized, whether it is Christmas 2020 (three times lower) or summer 2021 (half as much).

This enormous increase in one week is driven by the start of the new school year and reinforced screening in schools, specifies the Drees. The number of tests continues to increase in all age groups, but especially among 0-15 year olds, who have taken more than three million samples in seven days. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the symbolic bar of two million tests in one day was crossed on January 6, with 2.1 million samples.

SEE ALSO – More than 2 million tests per day: “We must target the tests because we will not hold”, says Professor Gilbert Deray

How far will this increase go? Previous year-end records have all been broken week after week. And, while the epidemic continues to spread in France, the number of samples continues to increase, putting extraordinary pressure on pharmacists, test groups and laboratories. The cost of screening is also increasing, giving rise to fears that the sector will not end up cracking in the face of the impressive daily workload.

Some voices thus call for loosening the monitoring of the epidemic, deeming it useless in the face of the contagiousness of the Omicron variant. This Thursday, a strike “historical»Also protests against the complexity of health protocols at school, and against the lack of legibility of official communication. “These three successive changes in sanitary rules, in one week, are the illustration of what [les enseignants] live for two years. It’s a message of weariness and exasperation that we want to get across on Thursday“, Explained in our columns Bruno Bobkiewicz, to the union of management personnel (SNPDEN) at Unsa.

SEE ALSO – Covid tests: “We are really in burnout”, warns a pharmacist

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