Covid-19: the number of tests goes back above the five million mark per week


From November 5 to December 5, the number of samples validated by a health professional jumped by nearly 3.5 million. An increase of over 185%.

Driven by the epidemic resumption, the explosion of tests continues. Last week, nearly 5.3 million tests were validated by a health professional, according to the latest data from the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees), attached to the Ministry of health. The increase in the number of withdrawals is spectacular, of the order of 25% over seven days, or 1.27 million additional withdrawals.

This jump is just as impressive if it is put into perspective: in one month, from early November to early December, the number jumped by nearly 3.5 million, an increase of 188%. The fifth wave led to an influx of our fellow citizens to pharmacies and laboratories, bringing the number of tests to its level at the end of August, close to its historical record and above the peaks reached during the second and third waves of the epidemic. .

In total, France has validated nearly 180 million test results since March 2020. The significant demand is driven by all age groups, in particular by people under the age of 25, who are currently more affected. by contamination. “The share of antigenic tests in all tests is highest for 16-25 year olds“, With more than two thirds of the samples taken by this age group, also specifies the DREES. Saliva tests are also in “very strong increase“, Carried by the”primary school students“.

New test rush predictable at Christmas

The epidemic rebound and the rush for tests that it entails are also at the center of a controversy between the presidential majority and the oppositions. Many voices are rising to demand free samples to better track the epidemic, on the one hand, and allow the French to spend the holidays in the best possible conditions, on the other hand. Jean-Luc Mélenchon recently called for the return of free tests for Christmas, a track rejected so far by the government. The authorities recall that the overwhelming majority of tests are still covered, for the 51 million fully vaccinated people and the 9 million minors under the age of twelve, for example, as well as symptomatic individuals.

Scientific authorities, for their part, call for caution and recall the usefulness of tests against the epidemic. In the Senate, Wednesday, the president of the scientific council declared that the French should again show themselves “responsible», During the end of year celebrations. It will be necessary to limit the number of guests, to be tested before Christmas, or to do a self-test “before going to lunch with the family“Pleaded Jean-François Delfraissy. Elderly people present should also be vaccinated, the doctor suggested.

Last year, there was a strong rush in testing as Christmas approached, bringing the number of samples to a record high since the start of the epidemic. At the time, the epidemic was however on the decline in France: this year, a similar movement, even more massive, could therefore take place, despite the vaccination.

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