A little under two weeks ago, the Prince’s Government, in consultation with the National Council, embarked on a mass testing campaign for all residents of the Principality of Monaco. The serological tests, conducted free of charge, involve rapid analysis of a drop of blood. In a few minutes, patients can learn whether or not they have come into contact with the virus.
With the first phase of the campaign focused on residents now complete, it is time for an initial report.
Across the two test sites (Grimaldi Forum and Espace Léo Ferré), a total of 16,200 people were tested, which represents 43% of the population. To this must be added tests on the so-called “captive” populations – police officers, firefighters, Palace guards, Department of Education staff – who have been tested but not yet included in the statistics in the cases of those who live in Monaco.
The first lesson to be drawn from this testing campaign is that 2.7% of serological tests were positive. Those who tested positive were offered an additional procedure consisting of a full-blood test. If this was also positive, the person concerned was invited to undergo a PCR test.
A positive serological test means that a person has developed antibodies as of the test date, and that they could potentially be immune. It does not, however, imply that they are no longer contagious. In any case, whether people test positive or negative, it is vital to maintain barrier measures.
Second phase: testing people who work in the Principality
Starting from Tuesday 2 June, the Prince’s Government began testing people who work in the Principality (employees, civil servants, employees of the State and commune and self-employed workers), a population of 50,000.
The tests, which are free, are being offered between 7.30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at just one site, Grimaldi Forum. Testing is voluntary and confidential: only the person being tested will be informed of the result. In terms of organisation, people are tested in alphabetical order.
On Tuesday 2 June, those whose last name begins with the letters A or B (around 6,000 people) were eligible for testing. For more information on these procedures, please see the website www.covid19.mc
And what about children?
Children aged under five years old who are Monegasque nationals or residents are eligible to receive a COVID-19 test starting from today, Wednesday 3 June, between 1.30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Grimaldi Forum Monaco.
The Prince’s Government encourages as many people as possible to get tested, and would like to remind residents who have not been able to get a test but would like to do so that they can come to the Grimaldi Forum at any time during opening hours from tomorrow (Tuesday), where they will, of course, be accommodated.