More medical professionals, including opticians and dieticians, are now authorised to perform Covid tests in France in a bid to curb the sharp increase in cases.
In a decree published on Thursday (January 20), Health Minister Olivier Véran added to the list of professionals who are officially authorised to take "nasopharyngeal (back of nose), oropharyngeal (back of throat), saliva and nasal" swabs.
In total, 16 more professions have received authorisation.
- Speech therapists
- Medical physicists
- Occupational therapists
- Psychometricians (a type of psychologist)
- Audio prosthetists
- Ear prosthetists
- Orthopaedic surgeons
- Dental assistants
- Veterinarians and veterinary public health inspectors (on condition that they hold a diploma, certificate or title entitling them to practise as a veterinarian in France)
Mr Véran said: “In view of the very high circulation of the [virus], to meet the very high demand for individual tests, we must make use of additional staff.”
The rise in positive cases coincides with the increase of tests being taken
France has recorded an average of 337,196 Covid cases in the past week. Between Wednesday and Thursday, 425,183 positive cases were reported, an increase of 39% from the week before.
The website cascoronavirus.fr estimates that in the week of January 10 to [January] 17 up to 2.2 million people got tested each day in France.
In comparison, in the month before - December 2021 - around 800,000 to 1,000,000 people were being tested each day, although this rose slightly over the Christmas holiday.