How effective is screening for Covid-19 in France? In a study published by the scientific journal Nature (in English), Monday, December 21, Inserm researchers estimate that, in the seven weeks following the deconfinement in May, only one in nine symptomatic cases was detected. And consider that the system must be improved.
The researchers estimated the number of symptomatic infections of the new coronavirus that occurred in France during the study period using mathematical models, crossing regional data from hospital admissions, serological studies and analysis of a self-reported symptom tracking database.
They come to the conclusion that more than 104,000 people declared symptoms of Covid-19 during the seven weeks studied, against a little more than 14,000 officially recorded cases.
The study also concludes that only 31% of people with symptoms of Covid-19 have seen a doctor.
The authors therefore observe a “Under-detection of Covid-19 cases in France which threatens the fight against the epidemic”. Screening capacity “remained insufficient, even at the low levels of viral circulation reached after this confinement” and it was predictable that she “deteriorates rapidly with increasing epidemic activity”, they note.
They call for a considerable improvement in the application of the strategy “test, trace, isolate” government to slow down the second wave that is underway, and avoid a third.