SANTE-CORONAVIRUS-FRANCE: France: Health Defense Council to try to stem the second wave of coronavirus
PARIS (Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron, who will speak on television on Wednesday evening, is chairing a new health defense council on Tuesday to study ways to stem a second epidemic wave.
As in the other European countries, France is confronted this autumn with a clear deterioration of health indicators. The threshold of 1,500 patients treated in intensive care for a Covid-19 infection was crossed again on Monday for the first time since May 27.
Referring to a “very difficult” situation facing the “reality of a second epidemic wave”, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, did not rule out Monday ordering localized reconfigurations in the country where the health crisis will last according to him several more months.
“General reconfinement must be avoided by all means,” the head of government said on France Info, referring to the “absolutely dramatic” consequences of such a drastic measure. “Nothing should be excluded when we see the situation in our hospitals,” he replied, however, when asked about possible local reconfigurations.
Several media also evoke the possibility of curfews in the most affected territories, a measure that specialists are calling for, like the president of the National Academy of Medicine, the former Minister of Health Jean- François Mattéi.
“At this stage, it is at the same time targeted measures – restaurants, bars, protocols – and a call for the responsibility of each one”, declared Emmanuelle Wargon, the Minister for Housing, Tuesday morning on Sud Radio.
“The President of the Republic is speaking tomorrow, there is still a defense council today: all this is obviously evolving, the Prime Minister said yesterday, we can absolutely nothing exclude because we expect to see how the epidemic is evolving but we are at measures targeted on certain economic sectors “, she added.
Nine metropolises (Aix-Marseille, Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne, Lille, Toulouse and Montpellier) as well as Guadeloupe are now in the maximum alert zone, with the closing of bars and strict protocol in restaurants.
In Ile-de-France, according to the director of the Regional Health Agency (ARS), Aurélien Rousseau, the occupancy rate of intensive care beds by Covid patients is now 42% and the incidence of the virus in the population general is very high.
“Today, for example, in Paris among 20-30 year olds, there are more than 800 positive cases per 100,000. The alert threshold is 50,” he said Monday on BFM TV.
(Benoît Van Overstraeten, Jean-Stéphane Brosse and Henri-Pierre André, edited by Blandine Hénault)