Although its numbers have since improved, the country still faces not only the economic fallout from the pandemic, but also a virus that is still present and emerging in more regions than expected.
“There is a dynamic of circulation of the virus which worries us”, declared the Minister of Health Olivier Veran during a press conference Monday, adding in the same breath, “[But] We are very far from a second wave. ”
It is the same day that France – by order of Veran – made it compulsory to wear a face mask in all closed public spaces in the country.
The minister is right to maintain a conservative position; there are currently 102 new active clusters under investigation across France.
Since last December, the virus has spread to 188 countries and regions around the world, infecting more than 15.25 million people and killing more than 624,000.
The death toll in France stands at 30,172, with cases of infection at 178,336 and recoveries at 79,957, according to statistics updated daily by the Ministry of Health.
Reporting is an inexact science, however, so the ministry has put in place methods to measure how quickly the virus is circulating.
One of them is the incidence rate, or the number of people infected over a week in groups of 100,000.
They also defined two thresholds; the vigilance threshold, reached when more than 10 out of 100,000 people are infected, and the alert threshold, reached when more than 50 out of 100,000 people are infected.
On July 19, two departments had reached the alert threshold: Mayenne in the northwest and the overseas territory of Guyana.
Seven departments had exceeded the threshold of vigilance – three in Ile-de-France (Paris), two in the Grand-Est to the east, Finistère in Brittany to the northeast and Mayotte, a territory in the Indian Ocean.
The reproduction rate, which is the average number of people infected per person, should stay at 1, anything above what is of concern.
As the data rose to July 21, the rate exceeded 1.5 in three metropolitan regions – Brittany, Grand-Est and Nouvelle Aquitaine – and stood at 2.26 in the territory of Réunion.
Hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care are a good indicator of the spread of the virus.
Although the former is not on the rise, admissions to intensive care have risen slightly, reaching 78 the week of July 20 from 73 the week before.
In light of the crisis, President Emmanuel Macron and his ministers have rolled out aid programs to help every part of society, with their plans bolstered by the € 40 billion aid the president secured during the EU Council summit in Brussels this week.
Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Jean Castex unveiled a youth plan of 6.5 billion euros for the next two years.
It aims to support the roughly 700,000 to 800,000 young people who are expected to enter the workforce and to support companies reluctant to hire in the post-pandemic period, by offering companies different levels of bonuses for anyone under 25 hired. between August and next January. .
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