Covid-19: the number of tests and sales of masks up sharply

Faced with the rookie of the epidemic, the French go to pharmacies to be tested, and seek to protect themselves.

Faced with the resurgence of Covid-19, the ninth wave of which is falling on France, the French are preparing. In recent weeks, the tests have been much more in demand, note professionals and authorities. From November 28 to December 04, more than 1.5 million tests were counted, a figure up 20.7% compared to the previous week, according to data from the Ministry of Health. A return to grace of the swab which goes hand in hand with the Covid-19 positivity rate curve, which is also progressing according to Public Health France, with 40,006 people tested positive on Sunday December 04, an increase of 6.2 % over the last seven days.

Preparer in a pharmacy in Nice, Christine notes “a resurgence of tests among 30-somethings and the elderly. People do not know if it is Coid-19, the flu, bronchitis or nasopharyngitis, so they test themselves for prevention“, she analyzes. In this pharmacy, about half of the cases turn out to be positive, especially in the teaching staff: “It is a disaster because many children are currently positive and contaminate their teachers», Worries the professional.

To protect themselves against the various viruses that circulate widely across France, many French people are rushing to wear masks, the wearing of which is recommended by scientific authorities, especially in crowded places. In pharmacies, French people positive for the coronavirus can obtain thirty surgical masks, reimbursed by Social Security. The pharmaceutical unions do not observe any particular increase in sales of masks. But on the retail side, they are accelerating. “Mask sales have doubled over the past fortnight», indicates Carrefour. The group further adds thatsurgical masks represent 90% of sales in our stores“.

This trend could be accentuated if the authorities decide to strengthen health rules, in the event of an epidemic outbreak. “My arm will not shake if it is necessary to decide on the obligation to wear a mask, including in all circumstances, if it were to happen at this level“Warned the Minister of Health, François Braun, this Sunday. For their part, the Academy of Medicine and the patroness of Covars, Brigitte Autra, also called for strengthening the wearing of masks to protect fragile people.

“Save the Holidays”

To stem the epidemic, Philippe Besset, president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France (FSPF), calls on peopleimmediately take their booster dose of the vaccine» and to «get tested at the slightest symptom“. Same recommendation for Pierre-Olivier Variot, president of the Union of Community Pharmacists (USPO), who recommends “to speed up vaccination if we want to save the end of year celebrations“. The professional also notes the proliferation of cases of “Long Covids, which have a terrible impact on people’s lives“.

It should be noted that there are three distinct types of boosters, of which a first – equivalent to a third dose – is intended for all persons aged 12 and over, from 3 months. According to the Ameli website, a fourth dose is intended for “people over 60», to the residents of Ehpad, to the «people at risk of severe form of the disease“, to “French living in the entourage or in regular contact with immunocompromised or vulnerable people» and to «professionals in the health and medico-social sectors“. Finally, an autumn booster, i.e. a fifth dose, is to be carried out for the same people mentioned above.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: “The epidemic is still killing”, warns Elisabeth Borne

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