Olivier Véran was in Nice on Saturday, alongside the mayor, Christian Estrosi. – VALERY HACHE / AFP

  • Local reconfinement on weekends could be implemented in the Nice Metropolis.
  • If such local measures are “relevant and justified”, Michaël Rochoy, doctor interviewed by 20 Minutes, believes that this can only be a stopgap.
  • Other health measures are to be taken besides the question of confinement, whatever its modalities.

Towards a new type of containment? The first confinement of the year 2021 could be local (confined only to the towns on the coast of the Alpes-Maritimes) and limited in time (the next two weekends). While the government had until then refused to accede to the requests of elected officials from Moselle and the North, especially on the Dunkirk side, struggling with an outbreak of variants, especially English, the measure could be formalized on Monday on the recommendation of the prefecture and elected officials of the Alpes-Maritimes. A first in metropolitan France.

It must be said that the situation in the far south-east of France is critical: the incidence rate exceeds 740 contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants in Nice, or three times the national average, already high. This Saturday, on a trip to Nice, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran therefore asked elected officials and local government officials to sit around the table to find a plan for new restrictions, to be put in place this week.

Do local measures work?

From Saturday evening, it was the option of local reconfinement on weekends that held the line. On paper, this is a solution that can be “justified and relevant” according to doctor Michaël Rochoy, member of the “On the side of science” collective: “This type of confinement can even be very local. In a department, even in a canton or a municipality. Then, we can rely on blind saliva tests in certain sectors to adjust the measurements, ”he explains. “The efficiency would be comparable to our national confinements”, said for his part a few days ago Mircea Sofonea, lecturer in epidemiology at the University of Montpellier, in The Parisian.

If such a measure has never been implemented in French France (there have been a few cases overseas), it has been the case elsewhere in the world: not to mention the extreme cases in China, Bavaria. , in Germany, has used this type of measure successfully. As usual, everything depends on the extent of the measures: confinement at the weekend will necessarily be less effective than stricter and more general confinement. The question of timing is also crucial: “The incidence rate is already very high in the Alpes-Maritimes. Emergencies are already almost saturated, but we know that confinement has a delayed effect, “underlines Marie-Aline Bloch, professor at the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health, who wonders” if it is not already too late ” .

A risk of moving the problem

Another question: don’t these local measures shift the problem? In a way: yes. In time first: Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes are tourist areas and its airport is the second French airport after Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle in Paris. “If the epidemic pressure does indeed drop in the Alpes-Maritimes, the sector may become even more attractive to tourists,” notes Dr Michaël Rochoy.

Geographically, we must also ensure that there is not too much interdepartmental exchange. However, we are in the school vacation period and there will still be trips between geographical areas. Suddenly, this local confinement could perhaps miss its target: “It may be treating the problem too partially”, judge Marie-Aline Bloch.

There are other steps to take

To be more effective, the two specialists interviewed see no other solution than a national reconfinement. “The problem is that we are no longer in the same perspective as a year ago,” notes the public health specialist. People are starting to get tired of it. This is why we have avoided harsher measures lately. But we see that it has its limits. “

Local or national, spring or autumn way, having recourse to confinement always reveals a “failure of preventive measures” and “breaches” in the current health strategy, believes Michaël Rochoy. “The government organizes every day situations where people without masks find themselves grouped in closed places”, describes the doctor, pointing the finger at school or company canteens.

For the general practitioner, we have to go back to the basics: wearing a mask. But also screening, “especially if you come back from an area where the virus circulates a lot”, says Marie-Aline Bloch. “It’s a civic gesture. »Indispensable to descend from the« high plateau »of contamination on which France has always been nestled since the beginning of the year.




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