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Covid-19 France: Is less testing a good thing?

The number of daily Covid-19 tests has gone down since the beginning of September, while cases continue to rise. One doctor thinks this is a positive. 

Figures published by health body Santé publique France (SPF) show that testing has reduced by 12% in the past 15 days in Ile-de-France compared with numbers from the beginning of September. 

This fall in testing comes as Paris and surrounding departments were declared a “maximum” Covid alert zone.

At a national level, there has been a fall of 20-30% in the number of tests being carried out.  

Less testing means process is becoming more targeted

Dr Lionel Barrand, president of the jeunes biologists (young biologists) union thinks less testing in France may be a positive as tests become more targeted.

He told news source Europe 1: “At the beginning of September there was a lot of anxiety. In our laboratories more than 50% of tests were not recommended [by doctors]. For example, we were testing a whole company when one positive case had been detected, even when people had not been in contact and everyone wore masks. 

“We tested whole crèches as soon as someone had a runny nose, and all contacts of contacts in schools.”

Dr Barrand believes less widespread testing will allow more testing for priority cases and faster results, as laboratories are less overwhelmed.

Lastest Covid figures: Numbers still rising

The latest Covid-19 figures in France were released by SPF on October 7. They show that in the 24 hours prior there were 10,489 new confirmed cases. There are 84 new clusters being investigated, bringing the total to 1,336.

The rate of positivity in France, meaning the number of tests being done that come back positive, has risen to 9%.

In hospitals, general numbers are rising as 4,486 patients with Covid have been admitted in the past seven days.

However, numbers in intensive care have remained stable. There was a rise of three patients admitted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 911.

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