If the situation worsened, especially with a development of “English variant“the virus, which is much more contagious,”we could be led to take harsher measures, it can go as far as confinement if the situation were to require it“, repeated the Minister of Health Olivier Véran to”20 hours“from TF1.
More “we are not there today“, assured the minister, wishing”give a chance to work“the curfew now advanced to 6 p.m. throughout the country and which has allowed a drop in the epidemic incidence in the 15 departments where the measure was applied from the beginning of January.
The concern is nonetheless very present and President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday evening that France will require, from Sunday, a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours before departure for most European travelers wanting to enter its territory, “excluding essential trips“.
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Olivier Véran also defended the vaccination campaign, extended at the beginning of the week to all over 75 years old, and which has known many difficulties. After the websites and telephone lines saturated for making appointments, several regions have recorded unscheduled vaccinations, sometimes until March, for lack of sufficient supplies.
– Objective 70 million –
“In 95% of the cases, everything went in an extremely remarkable way“, assured the minister, implicating the”tradition in France to talk about trains that do not arrive on time“, and ensuring that certain vaccination centers had made”surbooking“.
He greeted the “mobilization“general and assured that 500,000 new meetings would be offered Tuesday for the period”between the middle and the end of February“.
The minister also set the goal of vaccinating 70 million people by the end of August and called on the French to strengthen barrier gestures, in particular by no longer using homemade masks, deemed insufficiently filtering in the face of new variants.
In an allusion to criticism of the management of the health crisis, Emmanuel Macron had already regretted earlier Thursday the “ceaseless hunt for error“in France, which has become”a nation of 66 million prosecutors“, causing scathing reactions in the political class.
The President of the Republic also looked at the fate of students, hit hard by the health crisis and whose situation is increasingly worrying. Deprived of amphis for more than two months, they are severely subjected to precariousness and isolation.
Visiting the University of Paris-Saclay, Mr. Macron wanted them to be able to return to college one day a week, have access twice a day to a meal for one euro in U restaurants and facilitate their intake. psychological load, by creating a “psy check“.
On the economic side, the status quo confirmed on Thursday announces a “white season“for ski resorts, which will not be able to reopen their ski lifts on February 1, and very probably not during the winter holidays (spread from February 6 to March 1).
The outlook also remains very bleak for bars, restaurants and cultural venues (theaters, museums, cinemas), closed since the end of October and with no foreseeable reopening date.
On the trade side, the sales got off to a good start on Wednesday, but with stores less crowded than usual.
On Thursday, the bar of 20,000 positive cases recorded in one day was again exceeded. According to more consolidated data, but not definitive, the number of people who tested positive remained stable last week, at more than 128,000.
– Primordial acceleration –
As a result of the increase in contamination at the end of the year-end holidays, hospital admissions are on the rise, going back above 10,000 over seven days since this week. With more than 25,000 Covid-19 patients hospitalized throughout the country, including 2,876 in intensive care, the burden on the health system remains high, at the same level as at the end of the 2nd wave this fall.
France recorded 358 additional deaths in hospital on Wednesday, according to Public Health France, a stable level for weeks, bringing the total to 71,998 deaths since the start of the epidemic (hospital and nursing home combined).
But in the eyes of health authorities and many doctors, the context is still made very fragile by the threat of Covid-19 variants, including “VOC 202012/01more contagious, which overwhelmed the hospital system in the United Kingdom, where 1,820 additional deaths were recorded on Wednesday (93,290 deaths in total), a new daily record.
“As of January 20, 2021, 131 cases of infections with the VOC 202012/01 variant (United Kingdom) and 10 cases of infections with the 501Y.V2 variant (South Africa) have been reported in France“Said Public Health France on Thursday evening, judging”the acceleration of the deployment of the essential vaccination campaign (…)“.
Thursday evening, the Ministry of Health reported an assessment of nearly 823,567 people vaccinated.
But for the scientific council, if the vaccines constitute “a major hope for limiting the impact or even largely solving the COVID-19 pandemic“, it’s not “not before summer – fall 2021“.
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