Queues at test centers fuel criticism of France’s COVID strategy


The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care increased on Tuesday for the second day in a row, reversing a 16-week downward trend. The disease has killed more than 30,000 people in France.

France is currently testing some 576,000 people per week, a spokesperson for the health ministry told Reuters on Wednesday, up from 200,000 when President Emmanuel Macron began to ease one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

The strategy is working, Health Minister Olivier Veran said over the weekend. “The virus is no longer stalking us, we are stalking it,” he told Le Parisien.

The ministry spokesman acknowledged “localized problems” but insisted that France had chosen the right strategy.

But Lionel Barrand, who heads the federation of the Syndicat National des Jeunes Biologistes, said the open testing strategy was like looking for a needle in a haystack and turning the labs on.


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