Paris sets up free Covid-19 screening centers as surge in demand causes long lines in France

The government of Paris is setting up five new sites to conduct free screening for Covid-19 and help private labs deal with demand for their services. Last week, France surpassed the national record of 900,000 weekly tests.

Starting Monday, three permanent centers are collecting samples as part of free Covid-19 testing in the French capital, the mayor’s office said. Additionally, two mobile labs will be serving various parts of the city in half-day shifts.

The measure is meant to alleviate pressure on private labs, which have been overwhelmed with the demand for Covid-19 screening. Last week, people had to wait up to five hours in long lines before being serviced.

The new screening centers will help deal with logistical problems, but concern remains about the capacity for processing the test, which is currently capped at 1,500 per day for Paris and needs to be ramped up, Le Parisien reported.

The demand for testing has spiked as France faces a resurgence of the coronavirus. Last week, more than 900,000 tests were conducted in the country, breaking the national record. More than 33,000 new cases were confirmed last week, a surge unseen in France since March.

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