“Our results are not predictions, they simply make it possible to identify where the risk is located and where it is necessary to deploy increased means of surveillance and prevention”, specifies the researcher who directed this work, Vittoria Colizza, in a press release from Inserm.
However, this model was developed before the containment measures of more than 40 million people taken in China, likely to reduce this risk after the incubation period of the virus, still unknown but estimated at around 14 days.
In France, the risk mainly concerns “airports in the Paris region”, according to Inserm.
“A theoretical tool for public decision-making”
For the whole of Europe, the risk is between 33 and 70%. “Given the air flows, the most exposed countries would be Germany and the United Kingdom,” according to Inserm.
To establish this model, the researchers took into account all the Chinese provinces reporting more than ten cases.
They then estimated the risks of exporting these cases on the basis of “data on air flows from these regions to Europe”.
The researchers finally established two scenarios, the first relating to a low risk of dissemination and the second to a high risk.
This model is “a theoretical tool to aid public decision-making” and makes it possible “to anticipate a potential arrival of the epidemic in Europe in order to guide surveillance and prevention measures”, according to Inserm.
“In terms of risk for France, import risk analyzes are regularly modeled by research teams,” said Health Minister Agnes Buzyn Friday after the Council of Ministers.
“The risk of importing cases from Wuhan is moderate, it is now practically zero since the city (…) is isolated,” she added.
In China, the official report of the disease caused by this coronavirus appeared in December on a market of Wuhan passed Friday to 26 dead on a total of 830 contaminated people including 177 considered serious. Some cases have also been exported abroad.