Coronavirus in Nantes: Why such a hassle to find an antigen test without an appointment?

The place is now well known to Nantes. Seven days a week, a queue of several hundred meters extends over the car park of the Intermarché de l’Eraudière. The pharmacy in this shopping mall (which has recently completely rented a building just behind it to increase its capacity and reduce waiting times) is indeed one of the few to perform antigen tests without appointment, all day, and especially on Sundays.

Hundreds, even thousands of inhabitants, cross the city daily to come and get used to it tickle the nose, baited by free slots on Doctolib before realizing on the spot that here, the first to arrive is the first to be detected. “I came twice with my children, then for myself,” says a mother. There was waiting, that’s for sure, but it’s the only solution I found. I’d rather wait two hours than two days for a lab appointment! »

Welcome to Nantes: I am making an appointment for an antigen test at 19h23 and I find myself in the queue without an appointment, estimated wait at 6 hours. It closes at 000h 🖕🏻 🙃

— Nanou ⭐️⭐️ 🍁 (@NanouGrn) January 15, 600 In the Nantes agglomeration, half of the few 400 pharmacies would offer these rapid tests. But those who practice them without an appointment seem much rarer… and do not shout it from the rooftops. It is even difficult to know since no list exists, everything is done by word of mouth, and for good reason. “It is very fluctuating because the colleagues sometimes organize themselves day by day, according to their means, explains Denis Millet, co-president of the union of pharmacists of Loire-Atlantique. In recent times, many have preferred to stop or reduce the time slots without an appointment because they were completely overwhelmed. They are limited by their premises, the equipment, but also the lack of arms. ”

“Our teams were running out”

At the Atout Sud pharmacy in Rezé , getting tested without having made an appointment has not been possible for a week. “We had gone from 400 requests at holiday time to 600 Where 700 tests to be carried out per day since the start of the school year, says Mehdi Founini, holder of the pharmacy. Our teams were exhausted, we ended at 23 hours or midnight the time to transmit all the results, so we unfortunately preferred to stop. We do our best but we have to constantly reorganize according to the announcements and the resulting demand, sometimes in an anarchic way. In an attempt to satisfy everyone, this pharmacist like others has chosen to unlock part of their time slots the same day.

So, how do you locate a pharmacy in an emergency? Ask relatives or colleagues, but also scour social networks, where several addresses circulate. On Doctolib, some pharmacies also update the terms of access black on white (such as that of Dervallières, d ‘Atlantis or Children from Nantes), it is still necessary to have the time to methodically go through the whole list.

In one week, 600.000 tests were carried out in Pays-de-la-Loire, where contamination continues to flare up. Pharmacists hope for a small drop in requests in the coming days, in particular thanks to the relaxation of the protocol at the school.