Coronavirus: France is Preparing for an Acceleration of the Epidemic

General News
To limit the risk of coronavirus contamination, it is imperative to adopt barrier actions, relayed by the Ministry of Health.

If stage 3 of the coronavirus epidemic should occur in the coming days, France excludes containment measures for the time being. But the state is preparing the ground.

The executive is preparing people for an acceleration of the epidemic of the new coronavirus, excluding for the time being containment measures as drastic as in Italy, and trying to find an answer to the severe economic slowdown.

“We are taking appropriate measures. Today, there is no need to make decisions of this nature “but” if tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, there was reason to do it, we would explain it and maybe we would take it “, a said Emmanuel Macron, in response to a question about the measures adopted in Italy.

For the Director-General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, “the transition to stage 3 should happen in the coming days”, which can locally accentuate certain constraints facing the coronavirus.

The contagion, which now affects the government with an infected minister, is approaching epidemic “stage 3”.

The last official report, Tuesday evening, reported in France 33 deaths (against 25 Monday) out of the 1784 confirmed cases. 86 patients are in intensive care. All of the deceased are adults and 23 of them were over 75 years of age.


“Exceptional crisis”

“We are at the very beginning of this epidemic,” said Emmanuel Macron, while the largest increase in confirmed cases – 372 in 24 hours – was reported on Tuesday evening.

“We are living in an exceptional crisis.”

If “80 to 85% of the forms remain benign” recalled Jérôme Salmon, “there are still many scientific uncertainties about this virus”, unlike that of “the flu that we have known for 100 years” – and which kills 10,000 every year on average in the country. “It is not the flu, it can give serious forms on people not that old,” warned Mr Salomon.

Faced with the spread of the virus, the authorities are calling on volunteers from the health reserve to reinforce the health personnel, “including medical students”.

By a press release from their respective Orders, doctors and nurses are also invited to join the health reserve to fight against the epidemic. This concerns professionals who have retired for less than five years or who are available following cessation of activity.

President Emmanuel Macron at the Necker Hospital Emergency Call Centre
President Emmanuel Macron at the Necker Hospital Emergency Call Center. (© POOL / AFP / Ludovic Marin)

Measures to curb the spread

Gradually, the virus is approaching the summit of the state with Franck Riester, the Minister of Culture , confined to his home. A test conducted on his colleague in justice Nicole Belloubet, however, turned out to be negative.

The Elysée has also significantly strengthened the protection measures around the President and his staff, by limiting visits and meetings.

About 1,000 tests for coronavirus are performed every day, said the Ministry of Health. To increase capacity, the government authorized city laboratories to test on Sunday.

The biologists’ union has also asked for “FFP2 protective masks, but also surgical masks essential to take care of patients at risk” and which are lacking in establishments.

To stop the spread of the virus as much as possible, in addition to closing schools in the most affected regions since Monday, and for two weeks, all gatherings of more than 1,000 people are prohibited in France until April 15, in the open air as in an enclosed environment.

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