A massive campaign of saliva tests begins Monday in schools across France as they return to the February vacation.
The Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, had indicated last Saturday that “between 50,000 and 80,000 tests” will be carried out during this week, with then an objective of 200,000 tests each week.
Primary schools will be targeted as a priority. “With saliva tests, we believe that almost everyone will agree to be tested,” the minister said.
The saliva test is indeed less restrictive than the nasopharyngeal PCR test since it is sufficient to collect a little saliva by sputum in a tube or by pipetting under the tongue. The reliability of the saliva test is 85% against 92% on average for the nasopharyngeal test and unlike the antigen test, which gives the result in a few minutes, the saliva test requires laboratory analysis of a few hours.