Coronavirus: towards mass-testing populations?

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 11 October 2020 at 20h12 · Updated on 12 October 2020 at 14h30
How about mass testing to fight against coronavirus? This is what epidemiologist Catherine Hill recommends as interviewed by LCI, condemning shambles on tests and the fact the virus has been let circulate in the country.

The health policy against coronavirus is to be revised quickly…
How about mass testing to definitely halt the epidemic? This is what epidemiologist Catherine Hill highly recommends on Sunday October 11, 2020 on LCI, condemning new shambles from the government on Covid tests? “The virus has been let circulate in the country and we accepted its circulation, without even really looking to control the epidemic” the epidemiologist explains, naming other countries that successfully implemented mass-testing such as China, New-Zealand and South Korea.

Catherine Hill goes on: “We let the virus circulate, we confined without testing or testing really little, so, when we stopped confining, the virus resumed spreading, and the virus is circulating” she says, adding that “what we know of the virus circulation is only a very little part of the real circulation of the virus since we never survey a representative sample with PCR tests to know how many people are positive at T-time”. She used England as an example as they have recently implemented the system: “English people have completed their fifth survey and found that 5.5 people in 1,000 were positive. If this is the same in France, it means it would be more than 27,000 cases positives if everyone was tested”.

Involved, indicators that are not representative of the circulation of the virus: “we have bad indicators, data are fighting, we do not even have the right data. The best data we have are the one as for admissions in the hospital, admissions in intensive care, and the number of deaths” the epidemiologist says, adding that “all indicators are increasing more slowly this week than two weeks ago, but they do increase every day. There are still more and more people coming to ICU”.

The solution is then mass-testing: “what we shall do is try and stop the virus from circulating and to do so, we have to test and isolate very quickly positive cases as many of them are completely asymptomatic, we have to held mass-testing of the population. As long as we do not do so, the virus circulates and this is how shambles start”, she explains. She finishes saying that: “there are many ways of testing: now, there are antigenic tests, we can have grouped tests, we can look for the virus in waste waters… We could try to quickly find people who are positive to isolate them”.

The government now has to choose the option.

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