What effects have the end-of-year celebrations had on the circulation of the Covid-19? How much has the more contagious British variant taken root in France? A crucial week, also marked by the arrival of a second vaccine, begins in the fight against the epidemic. After postponing the reopening of bars, restaurants, cultural places and bringing the curfew to 6 p.m. on Sunday for eight new departments, or 23 in total (they will be 25 on Tuesday), the executive still sees difficult choices looming. A health defense council is scheduled for Wednesday, on the eve of a new government press conference on Thursday.
The government is preparing for “all the hypotheses” but wants to “avoid the confinement of schools to the end”, confided one of the participants in a meeting Monday of the parliamentary liaison committee, where Prime Minister Jean Castex made the point with the group leaders in the Assembly and the Senate.
The executive therefore favors the track of a generalization of the curfew from 6 p.m., throughout France. Objective, to put a brake on the progression of the British variant, which affects at least seven regions. “The curfew is less violent and more acceptable than confinement”, justifies an influential Macronist deputy.
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Defense Council Wednesday morning
“Come and see, everything is closed from 5.30 pm, the economic damage will be considerable,” moans a parliamentarian from one of the 23 departments. They will be 25 from this evening when the curfew already applies from 6 pm. Despite the first palpable effects, the measure does not seem to achieve consensus. Proof that once again, the executive is walking on eggshells.
The track will be examined during a new health defense council on Wednesday morning.
While the virus’s circulation started to rise again in December, the end-of-year celebrations raise fears of a sharper rebound in January. Public Health France recorded 96,743 positive cases the week of December 28, “in clear increase”, and 28,830 people tested on January 4, the day of the start of the school year, were positive, the highest since mid-November, according to the data of the Geodes platform.
In hospitals, the load remains high, with 24,812 patients with Covid hospitalized on Monday, including 2,666 in intensive care, a level that has not dropped significantly for nearly a month. Last week, the number of daily deaths hovered between 150 and 380, bringing the total death toll to 67,750 since the start of the epidemic.
Another concern: to what extent has the “VOC 202012/01” variant, which caused an epidemic outbreak in the United Kingdom, settled in France? To try to answer it, and faced with the appearance of the first potential clusters, a national survey was launched, under the aegis of Public Health France, to make a “first mapping” of this variant, by analyzing all the tests. positive last Thursday and Friday.
>> INTERACTIVE MAP – These 23 departments which have already passed the curfew at 6 p.m.