France: Elementary schools start Covid-19 saliva testing


French elementary schools have begun to conduct saliva testing for Covid-19 infection in students seriously, and the government hopes to conduct 300,000 tests a week by mid-March. 


Observers believe that the test is the last effort to avoid closing schools in one of the few countries to maintain the curriculum through the second and third wave of epidemics. 


France hopes to continue to be one of the few major countries that does not close schools to curb the worsening coronavirus epidemic because of the massive use of saliva samples for testing. 


The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said during a visit to an elementary school in the Upper Saone department: “The basic goal is to keep French schools open.” 

The minister said: “To do this, we must conduct as many tests as possible.” “Even if the tests are carried out gradually, we have the ability to do this in terms of testing and logistics.” Blanquer pointed out that France will conduct 300,000 saliva tests a week before mid-March. 


Health authorities hope that these tests can help prevent the infection from spreading in schools by identifying students who have been infected with the virus. The tests conducted with parental consent are mainly for elementary schools, and children are usually between 6 and 10 years old.

The saliva test is less invasive than a nasal swab. It can spit the child into a vial and quickly analyze the coronavirus antigen in the sample in the laboratory.

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