April 28, 2020 / 1:44 PM / in a month

France to widen COVID-19 testing programme: PM

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is seen on screens delivering a speech to present the French government's plan to unwind the country's coronavirus lockdown at the National Assembly in Paris as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, in this illustration picture taken April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Illustration

PARIS (Reuters) - France will implement a new doctrine on COVID-19 testing from May 11 with the aim of testing everyone who has come into contact with people who are infected, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told parliament.

He said the government had set itself the goal of carrying out at least 700,000 tests per week starting from May 11, when a gradual easing of restrictive measures is due to begin.

“Once a person has tested positive, we will begin to identify and test all those, symptomatic or not, who have had close contact with them. All these contact cases will be tested and will be asked to isolate themselves,” Philippe said.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Benoit van Overstraeten; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alex Richardson

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