While around twenty cases of contamination by the new strain of the virus are officially recorded in France, the city of Bagneux in Hauts-de-Seine has set up massive screening of its population.
Branle-bas de combat in Bagneux, an average town in Hauts-de-Seine about ten kilometers from Paris, since a kindergarten facilitator has tested positive for the British variant of Covid-19, like twenty other people in France, according to the Ministry of Health.
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To prevent this new strain, 70% more contagious, from being transmitted further, the town hall has seen the big picture. From Friday January 8, all the staff of the two schools where the young woman worked before and during the Christmas holidays could be tested. Then, from Saturday and for three days, it is the turn of the inhabitants to be tested for free in a village hall. A large space, open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., where a dozen tests can be carried out simultaneously.
On site, a dozen nurses were to multiply the PCR tests which will be sent, in the event of a positive result, to a specialized laboratory to detect possible British variants. After having encouraged his fellow citizens to “take advantage of this operation to come and be massively tested ” for “To be reassured“, The PCF mayor of Bagneux, Marie-Helène Amiable, was delighted that”Bagneulais and Bagneulaises have responded“. In three days, authorities hope to screen around 2,000 people, or 5% of the city’s population. A first glimpse which could give an idea on the circulation of the new strain. Depending on the results, “decisions can be made“Especially on the closure of schools, added the city councilor of Bagneul.
A dozen nurses carry out PCR tests which will then be sent to a specialized laboratory in the event of a positive result. GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP
For Laurianne Rossi, LREM member of the 11th district of Hauts-de-Seine, the inhabitants must “be massively tested “ for “to be reassured and to break all chains of contamination ”. Asked Saturday January 8 on France Info, she was however reassuring by specifying that there is “only one detected case which is isolated ” and so “No cluster for the moment”.
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A situation closely monitored by the health authorities who fear a spread of the new strain and therefore an uncontrollable outbreak of the epidemic as in the United Kingdom which recorded more than 1,300 deaths in 24 hours on Friday, January 8. Indeed, the hostess from Bologna had not traveled to the United Kingdom or elsewhere, raising fears of a spread of the British variant in France. In addition to Bagneux, a second cluster was feared in Brittany, after a professional from the Rennes Geriatric Center in Chantepie tested positive for the British variant. Two massive screenings of 21 residents and 17 service professionals were therefore carried out in the first week of January. After analyzing the results, ARS Bretagne declared “that it was not the British variant“. A relief for the health authorities who however do not lower their guard.
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“We don’t want this virus to start spreading across the country, explained the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on BFMTV Thursday, January 7. It gives the same symptoms, it does not cause severe cases more often than the virus we know, but it is more contagious ”. He called “to be further identified “ contamination related to “VoC 202012/01», Scientific name of the British variant. “I treat it almost like a different virus ”, he completed, not hiding his concern. To better assess its presence on French soil, “all questionable PCR tests ” performed Thursday and Friday will be sequenced in order to detect its specificities.
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To see more clearly, a national survey was launched in order to “make a first mapping“Of its broadcast, explained Bruno Coignard, of Public Health France, Friday, January 8 during an online press conference. To this, the Prime Minister added that the borders with the United Kingdom will be closed “until further notice” to minimize the risk of propagation between the two countries. Efforts that would make it possible to “delay their dissemination as much as possible “, according to Bruno Coignard, before specifying “to delay and not preventBecause it seems illusory, according to scientists, to hope to completely eradicate any form of mutation, especially the new variants, British as well as South African.