Coronavirus: 50,000 tests a day per day by late April aimed

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 1 April 2020 at 14h31
Following the new address on March 28th at Matignon, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Health Minister Olivier Véran have unveiled their strategy to fight against coronavirus in France. In addition to ordering a billion facemasks to China, the government also announces the multiplication of tests in the country with a goal of “50,000 tests a day by late April” thanks to RT-PCR tests. Here’s an update.

Facing the propagation of coronavirus in France, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Health Minister Olivier Véran wanted to address on March 28th in order to “explain as clearly as possible the constraints, the strategies and the choices” set up by the government to fight against this health crisis.

The first two weeks in April will be even harder than the two weeks that have passed” Prime Minister has said before moving on to strategic points about hospitals, nursing homes, facemasks without forgetting the famous and precious tests.

Speaking of which, health minister Olivier Véran said “We keep on increasing our testing capacities to reach massive capacities. From 5000 tests a day last week, we moved to 12,000 tests a day like today. We will reach 20,000, then 25,000 and 30,000 tests in a dozen of days. Ultimately, we will reach 50,000 RT-PCR tests a day by late April, especially thanks to the settlement of several machines we call rapid portable RT-PCR machines throughout the county. And of course, overseas territories will not be left out”.

RT-PCR tests, based on an “amplification” technique of the viral genetic material, allow to know if the RNA, the coronavirus genetic code, is found in the sample, so, to know if the sick is infected or not. Samples are done with a swab in the nose and give results in a few hours.

Olivier Véran also announces quick tests allowing to have results in a matter of minutes, and they will complete RT-PCR tests in the upcoming weeks.

Race to tests

Following such news, there are many companies launching into a harsh race to find the best test as fast as possible.

As for quick tests, they are being elaborated and “some of them are already ready” Minister Olivier Véran said. For instance, in vitro diagnostic French specialist bioMerieux commercializes in the United States a quick COVID-19 test.

As for the Breton company NG Biotech, they’ve announced to have developed a super-fast serological test with results available within 15 minutes only. It has even been clinically validated in France.

For the record, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has extended confinement in France for two more weeks, that is to say until April 15th.

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