A Health Defense Council could decide on Wednesday on new measures to contain the increase in coronavirus contaminations and to face its most contagious variant, which is starting to settle in France.
After the meeting of the Defense Council scheduled at the Élysée, Wednesday, January 13, it will be up to the government of Jean Castex to present the conclusions on Thursday. The authorities should take stock of the end-of-year celebrations and assess its impact on the Covid-19 epidemic in France.
The head of government, who ruled Tuesday that the French had behaved “well” on this occasion, said the day before that “the curfew is enough”, appearing to rule out a third reconfinement immediately.
On the other hand, the addition of territories to the 25 departments already under curfew from 6 p.m., even its generalization to the whole country, is envisaged, according to several sources close to the government.
Because the figures related to the epidemic worry the authorities and the Scientific Council, which provides it with recommendations on what to do to deal with it.
The Covid-19 still weighs as much on the French health system, with 1,660 patients sick with Covid-19 admitted in 24 hours, and more than 19,000 new cases of contamination recorded over the same period, according to figures from Public Health France Tuesday evening.
France “a good student”, according to the Scientific Council
The country is nonetheless “rather a good student” in the matter, according to the president of the Scientific Council, Jean-François Delfraissy, who spoke on TF1 Tuesday evening. He raised a subject of concern, with the appearance on French soil of the British variant of the virus. Known to be more contagious, it caused an epidemic outbreak in the United Kingdom.
This variant represents around 1% of positive tests for Covid-19 in France, according to the preliminary results of a survey conducted over two days last week, Minister of Health Olivier Véran said on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur Regional Health Agency (ARS) announced that a Marseille cluster, linked to this variant, is “under control and under control”. The ARS specified that the 24 patients of this epidemic focus were probably all infected with this strain.
Jean-François Delfraissy warned of the need to “try to limit the speed of appearance” of the so-called “English” variant. He also pointed out the appearance of a variant “said to be South African, which is probably a little more toxic” than English. And called to “block the road”.
For the scientist, the “best barrier” against all strains of the virus remains barrier gestures. He also spoke of “possible travel restrictions” with countries where the “English virus” is very present, and “probably stricter measures” in general.
Some 400,000 people vaccinated expected by the end of the week
In this context, the authorities have shown their voluntarism to accelerate the vaccination campaign, after a sluggish start compared to other countries. To date, nearly 190,000 people have been vaccinated in France since the start of the campaign on December 26.
The government hopes to reach the 400,000 people vaccinated against Covid-19 at the end of the week, especially in nursing homes where so far less than 30,000 residents have received the vaccine, said the Minister for Autonomy on Tuesday. , Brigitte Bourguignon.
The Minister of Health Olivier Véran defended for his part, Tuesday, the designation of private platforms for making medical appointments online “solid” and “French” for the vaccination of the general public. Doctolib, Maiia and Keldoc had indicated on Monday that they had been selected by the state for the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
France had last week about 1 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, which it expects 500,000 weekly doses, to which are added 50,000 doses this week of the vaccine from the American Moderna. In total, the government expects 2.6 million doses in January.
Children and young people bear the brunt of the health crisis
Relatively spared by Covid-19, young people, and particularly students, nonetheless pay a “heavy price” to the consequences of the pandemic, the Prime Minister acknowledged during the questioning session to the government.
He described a population in “a situation of isolation, loneliness, educational difficulties”, but for which the health situation left according to him “little room for maneuver”.
A parliamentary report from a commission of inquiry, presented in December by former Communist Minister Marie-George Buffet, stressed that children and young people, although not very sick from Covid-19, suffered “head-on” the health crisis on the psychological, social or material level.