the tests will cost “just over a billion and a half” in January, according to Olivier Dussopt

Started in December, the wave caused by the Omicron variant led to a rush towards the means of screening for Covid-19, whether PCR tests, antigen tests or self-tests. A rush that has a cost.

“We spent over a billion euros on tests last December with 28 million tests, and I think we will spend just over a billion and a half euros in the month of January”, explained, Monday, January 17, the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, questioned on the antenna of Sud Radio Monday.

For the time being, a large part of the screening tests for Covid-19 are carried out “free of charge” [sans avance de frais de la part de la personne testée], especially in the case of valid vaccination status. They are financed by Social Security and are compensated by the State.

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A vaccination that should cost “several billion euros” in 2022

“Not all tests have the same cost, antigens are cheaper than PCR in terms of public finances”, also underlined the minister, on Monday, specifying: “we have always said that investments in the medical field, tests, vaccination, were good investments”.

Regarding the cost of vaccination last year, Olivier Dussopt said on Monday that the bill represented “just over five billion euros” and what it would cost “several billion euros in 2022”, suggesting that it could be less than the amount spent in 2021.

The cost of the health bill “does not prevent us from returning to a more sustainable public finance trajectory”, estimated the minister, who affirmed the day before in the columns of the Sunday newspaper that France’s public deficit would ultimately be “close to 7%” gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, while the government was still expecting 8.2% last year.

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The World with AFP