The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced Thursday, January 14 a protocol to test up to one million children and teachers per month to screen for Covid-19 and deal with the spread of the British variant in France .
“We have set up a protocol that aims to screen up to a million children and teachers per month, which is huge. By descending screening until the age of 6, wherever it makes sense ”, underlined the minister during a trip to Metz. “What we know to date is that the virus actually appears to be more contagious in children. This is what we see in England. Without having more serious cases, in any case proportionally “, he said, however.
He explained that the government is monitoring “Closely” this variant, and that “If the situation were to change and we had an increase in the share of the English variant (…), we could ask ourselves questions” on a possible closure of schools. “But at this stage, the French pediatric society was very clear on this subject yesterday (Wednesday) morning by calling for schools to be kept open”, underlined the minister.
Stricter surveillance measures
Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the Scientific Council, had defended Wednesday on France Info this “Targeted screening-type surveillance at school and teacher level” for “To realize the percentage that represents the English mutant”.
“It is believed that the English data on the penetration of the English mutant in schools are not sufficiently clear to push us to close schools in France”, he explained, pointing out that this mutant “Is not more serious in children”.
Schools must remain open with “A number of surveillance measures much stricter than up to now” : “You have to be able to detect cases very quickly and quickly identify whether it is an English mutant or not”, in order to “Make a very quick decision to close a class or even a college if necessary”.
Prime Minister Jean Castex explained on January 7 that it would be necessary “Really that the health situation is extremely serious to close schools” because the consequences are “Absolutely dramatic”.