French healthcare workers testing for Covid-19 are working overtime to meet demand

France’s strategy for curbing the spread of Covid-19 depends on people getting tested when they have virus symptoms or have been in contact with someone who tested positive. Nurses and scientists are working overtime to collect and analyse the tests as fast as possible.

But there is frustration that it is taking too long – sometimes up to seven days – for results to come back.

Behind the numbers, nurses and scientists are working overtime to collect and analyse the tests as fast as possible. Yet the staff are working long hours, their holidays have been cancelled and they’re under constant pressure.

“We know we start at 7:30am but we don’t know what time we can go home,” says molecular biology scientist Sabria Herhira. “We can’t just leave thinking one of our colleagues can manage. No.”

“We have patients’ lives in our hands. We have to be 200 percent concentrated,” says the scientist.

FRANCE 24’s Claire Paccalin and Eléonore Vanel met with personnel at a testing centre and lab in Paris to find out how they’re dealing with this heavy workload and constant pressure.

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