Worried you got COVID-19? Now you can take this innovative Online Coronavirus Assessment Test launched by the French Government.
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France has launched an online test aimed at helping people who are worried they may have contracted the coronavirus to assess their symptoms, and guide them as to what steps to take next.
The test is approved by the French health ministry and went live on Wednesday. It contains 24 questions related to the most common symptoms experienced by people who have developed the COVID-19 illness after being infected with the coronavirus.
Questions range from “have you had a fever in the past few days?” and “what is your temperature?”, to “have you experienced abnormal fatigue?” or “experienced any respiratory problems?”
At the end of the test, which is based on an algorithm tracking the latest scientific discoveries related to the coronavirus and its contraction, users are also asked to answer questions about their weight, height, age, and additional information concerning their general state of health.
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They are then advised on whether they should contact a doctor for further consultation, call the emergency services, or whether they appear unlikely to have contracted the virus.
“The test is not a diagnosis, but rather a health assessment so that people know where to turn,” Dr. Fabrice Denis, a member of the newly established Digital Alliance Against COVID-19, which developed the test, told AFP.
In France, like in many other countries, a shortage of physical coronavirus tests means lab tests are conducted only for cases considered serious or if the patient is elderly or part of a specific risk group, such as people with asthma, diabetes, cancer or other ailments.
The online test serves to reassure people who might be worried about cold or flu symptoms, but it was developed, mainly, to help offset the massive pressure that the coronavirus has put on the French health services. It helps “reduce the number of unnecessary phone calls to the emergency medical services, which are already saturated,” Denis said.
On Saturday, more than 2 million people visited the website, of which about 1 million filled out all 24 of questions. Some 12 percent of the test-takers were urged to contact the emergency services. Denis said that the statistics in themselves confirmed the usefulness of the test and the benefit of making it available to the general public.
The test is anonymous, with users only required to submit their postal codes, and the data is sent to the Pasteur Institute in Paris for further analysis.
“It allows us to follow the number of patients, department by department, who have declared a cough and fever and a shortness of breath. And it allows us to see whether the numbers decrease over time,” Denis said.
The Digital Alliance Against COVID-19 consists of around 15 private sector players, including the start-up Kelindi, which coordinates the project, as well as the digital arm of the French postal service Groupe La Poste and insurer Allianz France.
Take the test at Maladiecoronavirus.
Louise NORDSTROM for France24. For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage. Send in your tips and submissions by filling out this form or write to us directly at the email provided. Join us on WhatsApp for more intel and updates.
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