Instructions for use, reliability, pain … we tell you everything about the self-tests against Covid-19

The essentials Health Minister Olivier Véran announced the sale of Covid-19 self-tests in pharmacies from April 12. Are you reliable? How is the test done? La Dépêche will answer you.

Are you testing yourself for Covid-19 at home? This will be possible from April 12th. The Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced in an interview with the online media Brut the marketing of self-tests for Covid-19 in pharmacies.

“France has bought some. From April 12th, pharmacies will be able to sell self-tests to those who want to buy them,” explained Olivier Véran. Self-tests, which are considered a health product, are not approved for sale in supermarkets. Carrefour, who wanted to market them in March, was not authorized to do so.

“It’s not that simple,” says Olivier Véran. “It’s still 3 cm, a large cotton swab that you have to stick up your nose, then you have to handle a product, put in drops and read.” The self-tests are therefore carried out by taking nasal samples.

Once the sample has been collected, it is sufficient to deposit it in the supplied tube. A reaction takes place with a solution that contains a reagent. As with a pregnancy test, the final step of the operation is to put two drops on a strip, which will show the result after about 30 minutes.

You don’t have to have symptoms to be tested.

Are the self-tests reliable?

“The sensitivity of a self-test is a little less good,” recognizes Olivier Véran. A study by the Federal Health Office estimates that an average of 71.7% of self-tests are reliable. In the event of a positive result, the result must be confirmed by a standard RT-PCR test or an antigen test in order to be able to detect a possible variant and to be counted as a positive result. This was the recommendation of the Higher Health Authority on March 16, which gave the green light to the use of self-tests.

Performing a self-test is slightly less painful than a traditional RT-PCR test. The test must be performed correctly because you are performing the test yourself and not a healthcare professional.

Are they suitable for children?

Self-tests are recommended over the age of 15, not under 15.

The official price for self-tests sold in pharmacies is not yet known. Carrefour had planned to sell its tests € 39.90 per pack of twenty tests, as the Parisian stated in March last year, or € 2 per unit. In Germany, Aldi sells self-tests for € 24.99 per set of five and Lidl for € 21.99 or around € 5 per self-test.