A new record that could cost Social Security dearly. Nearly 12 million Covid-19 screening tests were carried out last week, largely crushing the previous record recorded in New Year’s week, according to figures published Thursday, January 13, by the Ministry of Health.

The Omicron wave triggered a tidal wave in pharmacies and laboratories: 11.96 million PCR and antigen tests were validated between January 3 and 9, against 8.31 million the previous week, specifies the Drees (direction of research, studies, evaluation and statistics), in a press release. A jump of 44%, accompanied by a new daily peak of 2.16 million tests on January 6.

Significant increase among children under 16

On the rise in all age groups, screening has especially soared among those under 16, whose weekly “volume of tests” has tripled from 1 to 3 million “with the start of the school year”. This massive influx weighs on “the validation times (which) continue to increase: 93% of the results are still returned in less than 24 hours, thanks to two thirds of rapid antigen tests, but only 78% of the PCRs carried out in laboratories.

The Drees stresses, however, that this slowdown could be “biased” by the congestion of the SI-DEP IT platform, faced with “difficulties in integrating the very numerous tests”.

The desire of the French to spend the end-of-year holidays in complete safety had cost Social Security dearly. According to information from Echoes, around thirty million antigenic or PCR tests had been carried out in December, of which 28 million were reimbursed, for an estimated cost of nearly one billion euros for this month alone.

A figure to be taken into account in the budget of the Government, which has provided a financial envelope of six billion euros for the reimbursement of the tests over twelve months.

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