EPIDEMIC: Every Thursday evening, Santé Publique France publishes a weekly epidemiological update, deciphered by the experts of the government agency on Friday morning
- At the start of 2021, France fears a new rebound in the Coronavirus Covid-19 epidemic.
- Between the end of year celebrations, the holidays which caused a mixing of population and the arrival on the territory of two new worrying variants, the indicators of Santé Publique France are scrutinized.
- Result? An impact that is increasing, but no impact for the moment on hospitals.
Long before the end of year vacation, epidemiologists and politicians urged the greatest caution. Because the numerous intergenerational meetings, without masks and barrier gestures on the occasion of Christmas and the New Year were likely to further increase the circulation of the coronavirus in France. What we saw in the United States after Thanksgiving.
The day after Jean Castex and Olivier Véran spoke, who did not announce new restrictive measures but the continuation of curfews and closures of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres and ski lifts for skiing , the weekly epidemiological update of Santé Publique France this Friday was eagerly awaited.
How many new cases in a week?
In short: the incidence is on the rise (+ 17%) last week, while the French have been tested less. Almost 100,000 people have tested positive within a week. And these new cases concern all age groups.
Five regions are particularly affected by this increase: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Auvergne Rhône-Alpes. Areas where the curfew has passed, in some departments, from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. last week.
Does this mean that Christmas, despite all efforts, had an effect? It is too early to tell. As for a possible New Year’s effect, these figures (between December 28 and January 3, 2021) cannot yet reflect it. Especially since things have become more complicated since with the arrival in our country of two new variants that would make the coronavirus more contagious. And, for the English variant, would infect children more.
The start of the school year was therefore experienced by some parents and teachers as a stressful test. On the side of the Ministry of National Education, the figures for this Friday tend to be reassuring: only one college, one high school and nine classes have closed in recent days. In addition, the ministry reports that nearly 2,000 students and 345 teachers or educational staff have been infected since Monday.
What effect on hospitals?
For the moment, this increase in epidemic circulation has not resulted in an overload in hospitals. “The weekly rates of hospitalizations and new admissions in intensive care were stable (respectively – 3% and + 2%), specifies Public Health France in its press release. The number of patients hospitalized in France for Coronavirus Covid-19 remained high, with 24,904 cases of coronavirus Covid-19 hospitalized on the 5th January 2021, including 2,625 in intensive care. Remember that France has around 5,000 places in intensive care in normal times.
“But serious forms occur at a distance from clinical signs, nuance Christine Campese, an epidemiologist at Santé Publique France. It is likely that in the coming days, there will be an increase in hospitalizations. ”
The controversial subject of the moment and of great attention for the coming weeks: vaccination began on December 27 in France. If the government is strongly criticized for this very slow start, Santé Publique France is for the moment not able to publish verified figures on the number of French people vaccinated since the start of the campaign.