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France Covid: Million-test-a-week marker hit again after summer lull

There has been a particular resurgence in testing and positive cases among school pupils after classes restarted. Case numbers have doubled in recent weeks

More than a million Covid tests were carried out in France last week for the first time in six weeks Pic: Noiel / Shutterstock

The number of Covid tests being carried out each week in France rose above one million again last week, after having fallen during the summer. 

Some 1,132,300 PCR and antigen tests were taken between September 12 and 18, reflecting a “strong rise” of 33% compared to the week before. 

The figures come from the Direction de la Recherche, des Études, de l’Évaluation et des Statistiques (Drees).

This is the first time in six weeks that more than a million Covid tests have been carried out in a seven-day period after testing levels reached their lowest point for two years in August.

A particularly marked resurgence has been noted in the number of tests being taken by people under 16, which nearly doubled (+97%) last week. 

Read more: ‘Eighth wave of Covid imminent in France’ says health ministry

This helps to confirm that infections are currently being driven by this age group, which recently returned to school after the summer holidays.

National case numbers have also nearly doubled over the last couple of weeks, reaching an average of 30,000 per day.

“There has been an objective rise in cases, especially among young people,” Jérôme Salomon, France’s Directeur général de la santé, has said. 

He added that: “People in France have understood perfectly the [desired] response to this resurgence in Covid cases [...] returning to the barrier gestures that we know very well, and for all those who are eligible, going for a vaccine booster dose.”

These groups include people aged 60 or over, and people under 60 who are at high risk, including people with underlying conditions, immunosuppressed people, children and teenagers at high risk, and pregnant women. Their immediate contacts will also be eligible.

This booster can be given at the same time as the winter flu jab, on the opposite arm.

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Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France

France approves three vaccines adapted to Covid Omicron subvariants

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