The fight against Covid-19 is no longer a long-distance race, it is once again becoming a time trial. At the highest summit of the State, arbitrations are launched to implement the most appropriate response to the very strong epidemic outbreak. For many, the 9 p.m. curfew imposed on 46 million French people is no longer enough. And this is how the word “reconfinement” resurfaces in ministerial offices, far, far from the maxim “learning to live with the virus” which prevailed recently.
The next three days promise to be decisive. The government is not giving itself more time before eventually making its decision, the heaviest in terms of health since last March. Before that, Emmanuel Macron will convene a Defense Council, in the presence of Jean Castex and the ministers concerned.
Reconfinement is on the table
Three days is indeed the time needed to hope to measure the benefit of the curfew introduced on October 14 in eight French cities. One factor will be scrutinized with the greatest attention: the incidence rate, which measures the number of positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants over seven rolling days. An indicator whose reliability is already questioned by epidemiologists. “Jean-François Delfraissy (the president of the scientific council) himself conceded this Monday morning that the real number of contaminations was probably twice as high as the number of cases detected, notes Catherine Hill. In my opinion, it is rather four times more. We only detect a fraction of positive people, and that’s why we lost control. “
What would happen if the hoped-for improvement were to fail? Bringing up the curfew time? Introduce containment on weekends? In the entourage of Olivier Véran, one explains not wanting to neglect any assumption. Not even that of the reconfinement which countries like Israel, Australia and more recently Ireland, have decided to use.
Avoid school closures
It remains to be seen what the outlines would be. One thing seems to be in place, the confinement would not be modeled on that established last March, at the time of the first wave. Emmanuel Macron then began by announcing the closure of schools. This time, and despite the call made this Monday by epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, who pleads for colleges, high schools and universities not to reopen after the All Saints holidays, the executive is trying by all means to escape it. To avoid, on the one hand, further penalizing the apprenticeship of a whole generation. But also for economic reasons, in order to protect the parents of students by allowing them to work. But there again, within the government, one concedes that they are no longer absolutely certain of achieving this. Which says it all about the level of concern that reigns within the executive.
Another major difference with the first confinement of the name emerges: the desire to maintain the activity of businesses deemed “non-essential”. According to our information, it is already clear that in the event of re-containment, the number of exemptions would be much higher than in March. On the other hand, the government does not plan to impose confinement only on the most exposed and fragile populations, whether they are the elderly or those with co-morbid factors.
Macron cancels a trip
Asked this Monday morning on RTL, Jean-François Delfraissy added that a second confinement would likely be shorter than the first, which extended from March to May. It could be “followed by very specific deconfinement conditions, since we would deconfin by going through a curfew”.
Sensing the debate rising, the president of the Grand Est region, Jean Rottner, pleaded on Monday for the implementation of a consultation on a future confinement. “We don’t need a weekly or fortnightly press conference, we need dialogue, consultation, education,” he defended on Franceinfo. The executive will not accede to this request. At the top of the state, we refuse to change the method of making health decisions, in that they come under the sovereign power and not any political debate. “It is urgent to confine the country, launches epidemiologist Catherine Hill. Failure to do so would be the guarantee of going straight into the wall. When hospitalizations increase, we know that this translates into an increase in intensive care admissions within 15 days. We can’t wait any longer. “
Emmanuel Macron seems to share this sense of urgency. The President of the Republic postponed his trip scheduled for Tuesday to Le Creusot on the theme of Industry. All to focus on the answers to the health crisis. And take, perhaps, a heavy decision.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr