France launches mass screening campaigns for Covid-19 before lifting lockdown

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                Les villes françaises du Havre, sur la côte normande, et de Charleville-Mézières, près de la frontière belge, mènent lundi des campagnes de dépistage de masse de Covid-19 dans le cadre du dernier effort du pays pour endiguer la propagation de la maladie avant les vacances et la fin. du deuxième verrouillage de la France mardi.
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                                    <p>Alors que les Français pourront circuler librement dans tout le pays sans avoir à documenter leurs allées et venues avec des permis administratifs, le nombre de nouvelles infections quotidiennes à coronavirus reste élevé au-dessus de l'objectif du gouvernement pour la mi-décembre.

In a televised speech at the end of October paving the way for a new Covid-19 lockdown, President Emmanuel Macron said he hoped the figure would drop “over time” to 5,000 infections per day. But the daily average last week was 12,000 new infections.

Sunday, the health authority Public Health France reported 11,533 infections recorded in the last 24 hours and 150 deaths.

The toll of the coronavirus pandemic in France stands at nearly 58,000 dead, including nearly 40,000 in hospital.

The French government is now betting on a new, more targeted strategy with mass testing in an effort to stem the spread.

“These operations are as much a means of limiting the spread of the virus in the urban areas concerned as a means of testing our” test-alert-protection “strategy, which you see evolve,” said Minister of Health Olivier Véran on Thursday. .

The 270,000 inhabitants of the Le Havre agglomeration have been invited to be tested for the coronavirus from Monday to Friday this week. The screenings will be available “without appointment and free, with a result in half an hour,” said the mayor of Le Havre and former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in the Journal de Dimanche.

“In Liverpool, they managed to test about a third of the 500,000 inhabitants in four days. If we tested 50% of the population, I would be the happiest man! We will probably be below, ”said Philippe.

Parallèlement, dans les Ardennes, les autorités sanitaires françaises se concentrent sur le dépistage des habitants des deux principales villes du département, Charleville-Mézières et Sedan, quelque 123 000 personnes.

“Compliance with health protocols alone will not be enough to break the cycle of the epidemic’s spread. It is out of the question that the end-of-year celebrations generate a third wave, which would be formidable in our region, ”declared the parity of cities, Ardennes. Metropolis.

The initiative in Eastern France will run until Friday, as well as December 21-23 and December 28-30. The screenings will also be free, fast and without an appointment.

Two other cities, Saint-Étienne and Roubaix, are expected to conduct similar mass testing operations in January. The two were among the places in France that saw the coronavirus circulating the most widely.

Les épidémiologistes disent que les tests de masse ne sont utiles que si les résultats sont utilisés rapidement, avec ceux qui testent un isolement positif et avec des contacts sociaux limités dans les zones les plus touchées.

Isolation, however, will not be enforced as in some other countries. Instead, the Normandy regional health agency said there would be “individual support, especially to isolate as quickly and efficiently as possible”.

Tuesday officially marks the end of the second Covid-19 lockout in France, which will give way to a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day, with the exception of December 24, Christmas Eve.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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