Paris.- In the face of a res upsl break of coronavirus cases, the French authorities are struggling to keep pace with the demands for evidence. One reason is that many laboratories for their realization are closed during the summer holidays of their staff, while there are signs of a second wave of contagion. Doctors and experts indicate that the lack of holiday staff is only part of a long series of flaws in the testing strategy in France, a strategy that the government’s own panel of advisors on the virus has classified this week as disorganized and «inadequate.»
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«First, there is a shortage of workers to take the test. If we don’t ask all the health workers to be available to mobilize, then there’s just not enough people,» emergency service doctor Christophe Prudhomme told The Associated Press at his hospital in Bobigny, a suburb of Paris.» And then there’s the issue of the organization,» he added, urging regional health agencies to «organize the tests so that it’s not the citizen who has to pick up their phone and try to contact seven or eight labs to make an appointment for next week.»
A health worker takes nasal samples for a COVID-19 test at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, just outside Paris, France. Photo: AP
Problems in testing have also plagued the United States and other countries. But the French ritual of departing in August to the beaches, mountains or cottages complicates the situation. «Closed for vacation» ads hang door-to-door all over Paris this month, from bakeries to shoe shops and iconic cafes. Medical offices and clinical laboratories are no exception. Your staff needs a break more than ever in this difficult year. And while Parisians enjoy their holidays in the provinces, the demand for medical services usually decreases in summer. But this August, social estrangement has led to the ranks spread outside the few laboratories in the French capital that remain open, from the so-called «right margin» to the canals in the north of the city. Getting an appointment for a test can take a week or more. Same to get the results. This is troubling in a country that saw renowned hospitals virtually saturated with Covid-19 patients in the first wave of contagions—partly due to inadequate testing measures—and has already lost more than 30,000 lives in the pandemic.
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