PANDEMIC: The “threat” of mutations “does not justify a new confinement” for the moment, according to the Prime Minister, Jean Castex who calls on the French to “remain vigilant” during the winter holidays
The situation “remains worrying”, warns Jean Castex. But the Prime Minister, who took stock of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, insisted: despite “the real threat” of mutations of the coronavirus Covid-19, the situation “does not justify a new containment” for the moment.
The government is monitoring “worrying” figures: 1,600 new daily hospitalizations, 20,000 new cases per day and “6 out of 10 patients” in intensive care who are Covid-19 patients. But according to Castex, “we have not experienced a major epidemic outbreak” in recent weeks. “We must not let our guard down,” insists the Prime Minister.
The share of mutations has increased from 3.3% on January 8 to 14% today. According to Jean Castex, “confinement would mean the closure of many of our businesses but also of schools”, with “an economic, social and human cost”. “A new confinement can only be considered as a very last resort. The situation does not justify it to date, with an incidence rate which remains lower than that of October ”. Jean Castex, however, considers it “imperative” to “telework wherever possible”.
1.7 million appointments opened in the coming days for vaccination
To date, 1.6 million first doses of vaccine have been administered. If France began after many European countries, Jean Castex ensures that the campaign is gaining momentum, with 100,000 doses administered every day Monday and Tuesday.
1.7 million additional appointments for the first injection will be opened “in the coming days”. 500,000 appointments for the end of February will be offered from Friday, then 1.2 million “in the month of March, will be open from the middle of next week”.
AstraZenecca vaccine administered to caregivers on Saturday
AstraZeneca’s vaccine “will allow us to accelerate the rate of vaccination”, assures Jean Castex. The first doses will be administered “from this Saturday to health professionals”.
In total, the Prime Minister estimates that “the objective of reaching 4 million people” having received the first dose of a vaccine will be reached by “the end of February”.
No restriction on travel between regions during the holidays
“More than ever, we must avoid any slackening. As you did on the occasion of the end of the year celebrations, I invite you to be extremely careful during these winter holidays, which start on Saturday in zone A, continued the Prime Minister. Jean Castex confirms, however, that the government has “chosen not to limit travel between regions”. What if confinement was imposed while French people are on vacation in their second home? “We intend to allow people to return to their homes,” concludes the Prime Minister.
According to the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, since the start of the curfew, nearly 1.9 million checks have taken place and 177,000 fines have been notified. Police checks have increased by 39%, fines by 53% since last weekend. And going on vacation doesn’t change anything. Gérald Darmanin insists: “Everyone must respect the rule, the French must organize themselves to arrive at 6pm at their place of destination.” The police, however, benefit from “a latitude” in the distribution of tickets. The law is tough, but it is the law.