Still, high-level government science advisers to the Scientific Council said this was unlikely and recommended that, based on this metric, the lockdown should likely be extended.
The Minister of Health Olivier Véran declared news service FranceInfo that the lockdown could last more than a month, and that the first assessment of the situation would take place in two weeks.
He said: ” [We will look] to see if we need to make any further decisions, if the situation gets worse.
But the president of the government’s scientific council, Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, told the France Inter news source: “On December 1, we will not be at 5,000 contaminations per day, I can tell you now. We will need more time. ”
Indicators of the virus currently continue to worsen across France, with experts saying this second wave is “worse than the first”.
Professor Delfraissy said: “We are in a less positive situation than at the beginning of March. The contamination is spreading across the country, and not just in certain regions. “
Higher levels of contamination
People who have not been tested, or those who are infected but asymptomatic, are not included in official case totals, which likely means the virus is spreading even more than calculated.
Mr. Véran declared: “[There are] probably around a million people who spread the virus [without knowing]. We cannot rule out the fact that the virus continues to spread. We cannot rule out a third wave behind this one.
“The virus doubles every 10 to 14 days. Yesterday (October 28) we had 36% more cases than the same day last week. ”
Dr Renaud Piarroux, head of parasitology at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, said: “Today, the virus is spreading to the point that it can no longer be tracked. As the virus spreads more and more, we have to ask ourselves how fast it will decrease and whether it will decrease at the same rate we saw in March-April. ”
More dissemination opportunities
The second lockdown is less onerous than the first, as nurseries, schools, colleges and high schools all remain open, as do parks, factories and public workplaces for those who cannot work from home.
Virologue Dr Astrid Vabret Told FranceInfo: “People are not locked up alone, so inter-family spread is possible.”
Likewise, epidemiologist Dr Pascal Crépey told the news site 20 minutes: “The right thing to do is that everyone considers everyone to be a vulnerable person, or infected: by taking as many precautions as possible and respecting barrier methods at all times.”
This includes wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and / or washing hands and staying at least 1 to 2 meters apart.
As of October 31, there were 2,507 new intensive care admissions and 16,865 more people hospitalized due to Covid-19 in the past seven days.
According to a report seen by the French cabinet and published by The echoes, Patients with Covid-19 could require up to 40,000 hospital beds and more than 9,000 intensive care beds by mid-November.
Still, this is well above normal hospital capacity, which was 5,080 beds before the pandemic, and is expected to reach 7,000 soon, according to Véran.
But Philippe Amouyel, a public health specialist at Lille University Hospital, predicted that the new lockout is likely to significantly reduce the number of people admitted to intensive care.
He said: “In the first wave, we saw that after three weeks of confinement, the curve started to flatten with a 40% drop in intensive care admissions each week.
But Dr Piarroux added: “The context is not the same today. Many non-Covid patients still need care. We don’t have the same leeway as in the spring.
Worse in winter?
Some experts have said the second wave could be worse than the first largely because respiratory viruses often spread faster in winter.
Mr. Véran said: “In April, it was dry and hot. But the autumn months are wet, heavy, cold. These are climatic conditions conducive to the spread of the virus. ”
As of July, the Scientific Council warned that a second wave was likely in the fall due to the weather.
A July report states: “Coronaviruses such as SARS-Cov-2 behave seasonally, with reduced transmission during the summer season.”
The Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, reminded the National Assembly that “there are still many unknowns regarding this virus”, and said that the weather had “changed profoundly” since the first wave.
“Christmas will not be normal this year”
As the country grapples with the second wave, Mr. Véran also warned that Christmas “will not be a normal holiday this year”, and that while the government “is trying to create the conditions to make Christmas as free as possible “, It is” still difficult to imagine [us] organize big parties’ for Christmas and New Years.
He said: “Our goal is to allow the epidemic pressure to subside so that we can shop on time, happily prepare ourselves and create the conditions for families to reunite.
To this end, the Minister of Health called on people to respect the lockdown rules.
He said: “The number of cases could go down in a matter of days, and in two weeks we could see a real decrease in the number of severe cases. The more people respect [confinement], the less likely it will be. “
Covid-19 in France: last update
According to the most recent figures from the Sante publique France health authority (October 31), there were:
- 35,641 new cases in 24 hours
- 224 deaths in 24 hours
- 16,865 hospitalizations in the last seven days, including 2507 intensive care admissions
- 20.2% positivity of the test
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