France launches a pilot project of rapid testing with antigen tests among teachers and students, on a voluntary basis, according to EFE, quoted by Agerpres and Digi24. It starts on Monday, November 23, and will take place over several weeks, involving about 30 secondary schools in the Paris area.
According to the Association of Public Hospitals in Paris, the aim of this project is to “allow the rapid identification of carriers of the virus and the breaking of infection chains, in order to better protect young people, their families and the entire educational community.” The association also adds that antigen tests are complementary to PCR, being considered a powerful tool in the fight against the pandemic.
Antigen tests give a result in a much shorter time than PCR, 15-30 minutes, and are part of France’s new policy of expanding population testing. They are already used in other important locations, such as airports or nursing homes, especially in the case of symptomatic people, as existing laboratories are already at the forefront of PCR testing.
At the end of October, France entered a new lockdown, but kept the schools open. Since then, 20 educational institutions have been closed due to infections of teachers and students, the cases among them being quite numerous – there were 2,223 teachers infected in the last week and 13,870 students.