Is a second Covid wave imminent?

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                La semaine dernière, une augmentation marquée des cas de Covid-19 a été signalée dans toute la France, en particulier dans les lieux de villégiature côtiers.  Vendredi, le gouvernement a donné le feu vert aux autorités locales pour imposer des masques faciaux dans les espaces publics ouverts.
            

Depuis plusieurs jours, le nombre de nouveaux cas de coronavirus en France dépasse les 1000. Le taux de transmission virale est également passé à 1,3, ce qui signifie que 10 personnes infectées en infectent 13 autres en moyenne.

This follows a postpartum lull where a marked decrease in Covid-19 cases, as well as fewer deaths, have been recorded.

The return of the French wind

The health information service Public Health France reports a “relaxation of regular preventive measures” among the population, in particular the younger generation. The one-meter social distance rule seems to have been forgotten by many, and people on vacation have started to shake hands and greet each other with the famous French “kiss”, he reports.

The French Ministry of Health has also warned of laxity during the sunny weeks to come.

“In this summer period, there will be events with family and friends, as well as large-scale religious and festive gatherings. These are high risk situations for viral transmission, and participants should be particularly vigilant. “

Women wearing masks walk along the seafront on July 27, 2020 in Quiberon, western France AFP – FRED TANNEAU
    
Le gouvernement hésite à imposer un verrouillage général

The government, while anxious to avoid a new epidemic, is wary of too harsh repression during the summer holidays.

It has stepped up its guidance on social distancing as officials report new contagion “clusters” on a daily basis.

“France is not experiencing a second wave of coronavirus,” Minister of Health Olivier Veran said on LCI television on Wednesday. Veran, however, insisted that it was important to ‘not let your guard down’

On Friday, Veran gave the green light to local authorities to impose the wearing of face masks in public spaces.

    

Les villes côtières imposent des verrouillages partiels

Meanwhile, several new cities have announced additional measures to contain emerging coronavirus “clusters”.

Saint-Malo (Brittany), whose walled city has attracted tens of thousands of French tourists, said masks were now mandatory inside the old town for all people aged 11 and over.

Coastal towns like La Rochelle, Bayonne and the neighboring Atlantic resort town of Biarritz have announced similar restrictions.

Covid-19 “impatient to come back”

However, the World Health Organization pointed out on Wednesday that the use of the term “second wave” was misleading, despite its frequent use by journalists and politicians.

The organization prefers to view the pandemic as “one big wave” because the virus has never really gone away and does not follow seasonal variations.

Joel Wertheim, assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego, told FRANCE 24 that the virus looks “ready to reappear in any population in the world as we let our guard down.”

            

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