Covid-19: The Number of Hospitalised Patients Drops for the First Time in France

General News
Caregivers at the Georges Pompidou hospital, April 15, 2020 in Paris

The slight improvement in hospitals seems to be confirmed this Thursday 16th April 2020. But scientists remain cautious about the evolution of the epidemic on French soil, however.

The decline in the number of hospitalizations due to coronavirus in France for the first time since the beginning of the containment entered Thursday in its 31st day, raises hopes, within one month of the easing of restrictions on which there are many uncertainties.

The medical community remains however cautious on the evolution of the epidemic which made 17 167 dead in the country since the beginning of March, 10 643 in the hospital and 6 524 in the Ehpad and other medico-social establishments, without counting the deaths home.

500 fewer people

If the balance sheet in retirement homes does not weaken, the slight improvement in hospitals seems to be confirmed: the number of hospitalized patients has decreased for the first time since the beginning of March, with 513 fewer people since Tuesday, even if nearly 31,800 sick remain in hospital.

Even more convincing, the balance of entries and exits in intensive care – indicator scrutinized by specialists – has been negative for seven days: 6,457 people required heavy care in these services Wednesday evening, 273 less than Tuesday.

The disease affected even the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, more than a third of whose sailors tested positive for Covid-19 since their early return on Sunday, according to a still provisional assessment.

The coronavirus in France
The coronavirus in France. (© AFP / Simon MALFATTO)

“From black to dark grey”

On May 11th, date of the relief containment announced by the President Emmanuel Macron, “we will not move from black to white, it will change from black to dark grey,” warned Wednesday the president of the Scientific Council of the Government before the Assembly’s fact-finding mission on Coronavirus Covid-19.

“It is a continuum, there will not be a before and an after. We must be extremely careful with this, otherwise, the virus can start again, ”warned Professor Jean-François Delfraissy.

Specialists are still struggling to anticipate the dynamics of the epidemic, noted Professor Renaud Piarroux, head of the parasitology service at Pitié-Salpêtrière, in Paris. “When we look at what is happening in Italy, in confinement for ten days longer than us, there is still a very high transmission “, he worried on France Inter.

Nearly 18 million people at risk will have to remain confined, warned Professor Delfraissy before the Senate law commission.

For the Director-General of HealthJérôme Salomon, it will be necessary to keep “in the weeks and months that come these barrier measures, these rather unnatural gestures of physical and social distancing, to permanently protect the most vulnerable people”.

Cashiers wear gloves and a protective mask against coronavirus in a supermarket in Givors, on April 15, 2020 near Lyon.
Cashiers wear gloves and a protective mask against coronavirus in a supermarket in Givors, on April 15, 2020 near Lyon. (© AFP / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK)

Read also: Containment: the SNCF wants to make the mask mandatory on trains

Consider a postponement

And according to Pr Delfraissy, the deconfinement will have to be postponed if essential conditions, in particular a sufficient number of screening tests and the establishment of a system of tracing of the contacts of the new identified cases, are not met.

This possible resumption of activity on May 11 brings its share of controversies, like that linked to the surprise announcement by Emmanuel Macron of the reopening of crèches and educational establishments, with the exception of higher education.

Disinfection of a classroom in Cannes, April 10, 2020.
Disinfection of a classroom in Cannes, April 10, 2020. (© AFP / Archives / VALERY HACHE)

Critics are all the more virulent as bars, restaurants and cinemas will remain closed. In addition, the economy no longer has to rely on summer festivals.

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