Coronavirus: Death Toll Rises to Six and 377 Cases of Contamination in France

General News
A nurse puts on a protective mask before seeing a sick patient, March 4, 2020 in an Ehpad in Brest.

The coronavirus made two new victims this Thursday 5th March 2020 in France, one in the Oise and the second in the Aisne. A total of 377 people are infected.

The coronavirus epidemic is gaining ground in FranceThis Thursday 5th March 2020, two people died, said the Ministry of Health, bringing to six the total number of deaths in the national territory since the appearance of the virus in late January.

Two dead and 377 positive cases

The last two victims are a 73-year-old native of Oise and another 64-year-old native of Aisne. The previous deaths recorded in connection with the coronavirus concerned people at risk or very old.

In parallel, 377 cases of contamination were identified on Thursday, 92 more than the day before. “The increase observed between Wednesday and Thursday is the largest in a day since the start of the crisis,” said the news agency.

This Thursday, the last region hitherto kept away from contamination, the Center-Loire Valley, reported two cases, a forty-something in the Eure-et-Loir, back from Milan. And a woman in Indre-et-Loire, who had attended the gathering of an evangelical church in Mulhouse.

The general assembly of research gathered at the Élysée

This evangelical gathering which had brought together nearly 2,000 people from February 17 to 24 is the source of most of the new cases reported, particularly in Corsica, which has also been spared so far.

Guyana also announced five confirmed cases on Wednesday, all of them returned from this meeting in Mulhouse, in which around 2,000 people participated. Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion are currently exempt from proven cases.

Faced with the progression of contamination by the virus – France is one of the main centres of the virus in Europe, along with Italy and Germany -, the Elysée has summoned thirty experts – doctors, scientists and laboratory managers – at 4 p.m. around the President and the Ministers of Health, Olivier Véran and of Research, Frédérique Vidal.

The first case at RATP

In Paris, RATP has reported the first case among its station agents, without disrupting metro traffic.

“The Regional Health Agency will immediately investigate and say who should stay at home” among his colleagues, commented on Europe 1 the Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud.

Slowly, but surely, the contagion is gaining: it seems “unfortunately unlikely” that France will escape stage 3, the epidemic stage, government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye already warned on Wednesday after a Council of defence at the Elysée. “We are actively preparing for an epidemic.”

At stage 3, that where one notes that the virus circulates and that it is transmissible on the whole of the territory, “the collective activities are strongly impacted”, specifies the government on the site

The country remains for the time being at stage 2, that where the authorities make “everything to slow down the spread of the virus”, affirms the Minister for Health, Olivier Véran.

Restrictions collectives

The collective restrictions, decided last weekend, remain the same and in particular prohibit gatherings of more than 5,000 people in an enclosed environment, which promote the rapid transmission of the virus. The order relating to these measures, published on Thursday, specifies that these measures will remain in force until May 31.

With 20 cases identified, Morbihan is one of the main centres of grouped cases, along with the Oise and the commune of La Balme, in Haute-Savoie.

In medical offices, doctors are adjusting: thus, in Crac’h , a town of 3,400 inhabitants in the Gulf of Morbihan, the general practitioner of the town Christian Morigny receives potentially contaminated patients “outside the usual consultation hours” so that they do not meet other patients. Another multiplies teleconsultations.

“No psychosis”

But “unlike H1N1 (in 2009, note), we have no psychosis, people are calm,” says Dr Eric Henry, who especially notes the increase in work stoppages: 80 in a few days against one to two by week normally.

At this stage, the postponement of the municipal elections (March 15-22) is not on the agenda.

Even if many event cancellations have already been announced, such as MIPTV, the second-largest event in the world dedicated to television professionals, scheduled from March 30 to April 2 in Cannes.

Muriel Pénicaud said that 400 companies had requested technical unemployment measures for 6,000 employees, mainly in tourism and catering, where the activity “falls because of the coronavirus”.

This is already palpable for the castles of the Loire, where reservations by Asian visitors have dropped by two thirds since the start of the epidemic: “There is an obvious impact on visitors from China, Taiwan and Korea from the South ”, notes Jean d’Haussonville, Director General of the National Domain of Chambord (Loir-et-Cher). “And also on the Italian clientele, very important”.

The population not very worried, according to a survey

According to an Elabe poll for BFMTV, 52% of those questioned say they are not worried (5 points more than a week ago) but especially dread the crowdedness of public transport.

The population is also rushing on the masks, whose stocks have been requisitioned by decree, and on hydroalcoholic gels: to stem the surge in prices the State has proposed to manufacturers to cap the labels at 3 euros per 100 ml.

Thursday, a “good hundred” of schools, colleges and high schools remained closed, mainly in the Oise (35,000 students affected) and Morbihan (9,000). Only one has closed in Ile-de-France, in Louvres in the Val-d’Oise.

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