The Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced Thursday a future prioritization for the tests for the coronavirus.

He also announced that decisions on antigen and saliva testing were imminent.

Stéphane Eimer, CEO of BioGroup, a group of laboratories, said its structures were ready to adapt.


A new policy on coronavirus testing.

This is what Olivier Véran had notably come to announce on Thursday during a long-awaited press conference.

The Minister of Health thus promised that a prioritization would soon be put in place to avoid traffic jams.

He also announced the first operations with antigenic tests, faster than PCR tests, will be carried out in Île-de-France and imminent decisions concerning saliva tests.

These announcements have obviously been carefully scrutinized for the leaders of the analytical laboratories, currently saturated with demand.

According to Stéphane Eimer, CEO of BioGroup, a group of laboratories, the structures are ready to adapt to this new situation.

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Prioritization possible thanks to an online form

Regarding prioritization, reserved for asymptomatic people, presenting symptoms or even nursing staff, the laboratories are already getting organized, assure Stéphane Eimer.

"This is something that we are setting up with a remote appointment booking form via the Internet which, in fact, will allow patients to be prioritized so that they can have access within 24 hours to an appointment and a result in 24 hours as well, ”says the CEO of Biogroup.

The doctor assures us that laboratories have already greatly increased their testing capacity.

“We still have great screening capacities in terms of machines and we have nevertheless recruited a lot of people,” he recalls.


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Antigenic tests?

"Large mesh nets"

Regarding the antigenic tests which promise a result in just thirty minutes, Stéphane Eimer is more reserved.

First of all because "as private laboratories, we are obliged to wait for the validation of the higher health authorities".

Even if, he assures, "As soon as it is effectively evaluated and controlled by them, we will obviously offer these tests in most of our laboratories."

Above all, Stéphane Eimer insists on specifying that these antigenic tests are only a "complement" to conventional PCR tests.

"These tests do not benefit from the amplification of the PCR which makes it possible to make positive even a very, very small quantity of virus. In fact, it is like a net with large meshes. We do not take small fish, maybe not the means either, but in any case, the big fish, we take them and that will indeed allow us to detect more positive cases. "

Saliva tests, "it's something you can do right away"

The doctor is more enthusiastic about the saliva tests.

"These are exactly the same machines and the same reagents as what are used today in most French hospitals and in most private laboratories," explains Stéphane Eimer.

"So there, we are equipped. It's something that can be done right away. It's just a question of validation by the senior health authorities so that we can effectively offer it widely to everyone. "

Above all, the saliva test no longer requires these famous samples taken very far in the nose and very unpleasant.

"This levy will be much more easily tolerated by everyone", confirms the CEO of BioGroup.