Covid-19: fewer and fewer infected pass through the mesh of screening in France, advances a ministerial study

Is the Covid-19 screening capacity improving in France? This is what suggests a study published Wednesday, December 23, according to which 12% of infected people tested positive in June, 31% between July and August, and 59% between mid-October and the end of November.

This study is published by the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (DREES), a service that depends on several ministries including that of Health.

To reach this conclusion, the study authors first crossed the number of people infected during the first wave, established not via PCR tests but serological data, with the number of patients admitted to hospital, to establish the rate of cases requiring hospitalization. They concluded that 2.7% of infected people (excluding nursing homes) had to be hospitalized.

This ratio allows, “by assuming that the hospitalization rates observed during the first wave of the epidemic remained stable over time”, to establish from the number of hospitalizations the count the true number of contaminations in the population, and compare it to the number of positive cases that go back to health authorities. This made it possible to observe that more and more infected people were identified as part of the screening.

They estimate that 6,330,000 people have been affected by the virus since the start of the health crisis in France. Data from Public Health France show just over 2.5 million confirmed positive cases.

This study appears two days after that of Inserm researchers, published by the journal Nature, who came to the very similar conclusion that nine out of ten symptomatic cases were not detected at the time of the first deconfinement. These researchers called for increased screening capacity to avoid a third wave once current restrictions are lifted.

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