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Covid-19: should we stop mass testing?  -Coronavirus
 | Breaking News Updates

Covid-19: should we stop mass testing? -Coronavirus
| Breaking News Updates | Google News

Faced with the Omicron wave, some are asking the question: should we continue to screen massively? The month of January saw the number of tests, antigenic or PCR, carried out by professionals, soar. It has experienced a very slight decrease in recent days: the effect of school protocols favoring self-tests. But almost 1.4 million daily tests on average over seven days is still impressive.

Covid-19: follow the live

“We spent over a billion euros on tests last December, with 28 million tests, and I think we will spend just over a billion and a half euros in the month of January” , said Monday, January 17, the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, on Sud Radio. The tidal wave caused by the Omicron variant shattered the government’s forecasts in this area.?

Testing capacity has been increased with the opening of screening centers, but pharmacies remain overwhelmed, and parents of students are tired of having to test their children with contact cases in schools… Is all this still useful?

Other countries are taking the plunge

Israel has decided to now reserve PCR tests for people at risk. In Europe, the debate has been started by Spain, where the government is awaiting both the decline of the current wave of covid linked to the Omicron variant and the green light from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the WHO to start considering covid as an endemic disease and adopt a new system, in which would no longer be systematically screened asymptomatic people or people with mild symptoms.

“Test and isolate symptomatic cases”

In France, it is not yet on the agenda, but certain voices are expressed in this direction. Professor Yves Buisson, epidemiologist and member of the Academy of Medicine, is categorical: “We test too much, especially children”.

“When you test, you have to ask yourself why you are testing,” he says. Should we spend all these efforts, all these millions of euros? And why ? If it was to block the circulation of the virus, so be it. But we can see that it is doomed to failure. “With the Omicron variant, “everyone is overwhelmed: families, pharmacists, and the Sidep system too”, but the screening campaign fails to stop the spread of covid. “We detect many cases, but we let two, three or four times more pass… We will never know. »

“We must remain at the basic level, that is to say test and isolate symptomatic cases”, estimates Professor Buisson, who relies on vaccination and the less dangerous nature of the new variant. Going back to the school environment, if a child “has symptoms, we test him; if he is positive, he stays at home. Search contacts of contacts? We can’t get out of it anymore… What we can do is reinforce the barrier measures, and then wait for it to happen. »

Covid-19: should we stop mass testing? -Coronavirus
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