antigen tests, a risky bet

DECRYPTION – These tests, which the government intends to deploy to unclog laboratories, are faster. But their performance depends on several factors.

As with the PCR test, the rapid antigen test begins with a nasopharyngeal swab.
As with the PCR test, the rapid antigen test begins with a nasopharyngeal swab. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP

Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, announced on Thursday that he had ordered “5 million antigen tests” who will have to “Arrive by early October”. The government will work on “deployment” of these rapid tests, without waiting for the results of the recently launched experiments or “Recommendations from scientific authorities”. A decree authorizing this test was published on September 16, Official newspaper. It is considered a rapid test of“Diagnostic orientation”. That is to say, it is intended to sort patients, each positive antigen test having to be confirmed by a reference virological test (RT-PCR), specifies the order. It should help unclog labs, reassuring negative patients.

As with the PCR test, the rapid antigen test begins with a “nasopharyngeal” swab, which can be taken by biologists, doctors and physiotherapists, after proper training. A long cotton swab is pressed deep

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