Covid-19: “We Can Switch at any Time”, Warns the Scientific Council

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"The balance is fragile and we can switch at any time" towards an uncontrolled resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, warns the Scientific Council on Tuesday.

The body advising the government on the health crisis has just expressed its concerns about the increase in the number of cases and a possible second wave in the Autumn.

While the clusters have multiplied since the summer and the health authorities are seeing an increase in the number of cases of contamination, the Scientific Council expressed its concerns on Tuesday 4th August 2020.

“The balance is fragile and we can switch at any time” towards an uncontrolled resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, warns the body, insisting on the importance of barrier measures.

The future of the epidemic in the short term is largely in the hands of citizens.

“Anticipate Autumn”

Beyond the situation this summer, the Scientific Council still considers “highly probable that a second epidemic wave will be observed in the Autumn or winter. ”

“France is in a controlled but fragile situation, with an upsurge in the circulation of the virus this summer”, wrote the Scientific Council in the introduction of this opinion communicated to the government on July 27. It, therefore, appears essential to “prepare now to anticipate a return of the virus in the Autumn. ”

The virus is circulating more actively, with an accentuated loss of distancing measures and barrier measures.

A worsening situation

In recent weeks, the authorities have warned of a possible worsening of the situation, in the light of indicators on the rise almost three months after the end of the confinement.

The week of July 20-26, the number of new confirmed cases in France saw a significant increase, 54% (5,592 in total), and the bar of 1,000 new cases per day was exceeded, said the 30th July the health agency Public Health France in its last weekly update.

In addition, the number of patients with Covid-19 hospitalized in intensive care has increased by 13 cases since Friday (384 in total), breaking with the downward trend observed since April, according to the latest report from the Directorate General of Health (DGS) aired Monday evening.

Prevent the second wave

To counter a second epidemic wave, the Scientific Council is asking the authorities to put in place “prevention plans” focused in particular on the largest metropolises.

He also points to “delays” in the strategy of testing, tracing and isolating positive cases. He, therefore, recommends improving “access to screening tests”, the deadlines for which are currently too long due to strong demand.

Finally, in a second separate opinion, the Scientific Council proposes a stricter control of travellers arriving from countries “at risk” , with tests on their departure or arrival and quarantine of 14 days.

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