PANDEMIC: The Prime Minister, Jean Castex, held a press conference this Thursday in the presence of the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran
The appointment was made last Thursday: eight days after the announcement of the placing in “reinforced surveillance” of 20 departments particularly affected by the coronavirus epidemic, the government unveiled this Thursday evening its arbitrations, at the end of ‘a week of consultation between the prefects and elected officials of the territories concerned. On the menu, new restrictive measures but also preventive measures … A look back at the main announcements of the press conference by Prime Minister Jean Castex and his ministers
Pas-de-Calais confined at weekends, respite for Ile-de-France
The info had filtered since Wednesday evening and it is confirmed : the whole of Pas-de-Calais, where the incidence rate exceeds 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and is progressing very quickly (+ 23% in eight days), will be confined the next weekends from Saturday 8 am to Sunday 6 pm. Shopping centres and non-food supermarkets over 5,000m² will be closed. The government did not specify for how many weeks the measures would apply.
On the other hand, there will be no confinement on weekends in Paris and in the other seven departments of the small and large crowns in Ile-de-France, where the incidence rate reaches 342 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. . Nor in the Bouches-du-Rhône, which is one of the few departments placed under increased vigilance where the epidemic has slightly ebbed over the past eight days.
During the past week, the Hautes-Alpes, Aube and Aisne departments, on the other hand, saw their incidence rate cross the threshold of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and therefore made their entry into the list of departments placed under increased vigilance, which now has 23.
In these 23 “at risk” departments, new provisions “to limit the risks of grouping and mixing in public spaces or in department stores” have been announced: large shopping centres and non-food supermarkets with more than 10,000 m², and only those over 20,000 m² as so far, will be closed from midnight Friday evening, the Prime Minister said.
The obligation to wear a mask will be extended to all urban areas where it does not yet apply. The prefects will be invited, in consultation with the mayors concerned, to prohibit or regulate access to certain busy sites during the weekends, where mass gatherings are too often observed without masks or distancing, according to the Prime Minister. .
Prefects may also be required to ban organized events, especially during weekends, in public spaces if they present a proven health risk.
In addition, the Jean Castex invited the inhabitants of these areas at risk to limit their social and family contacts, to respect the same precautionary measures as during the Christmas holidays – namely to avoid gatherings of more than six people – and to as much as possible avoid leaving their departments or their region. Objective: to avoid spreading the virus in the less affected departments, where the situation remains fragile “and does not allow easing measures at this stage”.
Acceleration of the vaccination campaign
Another component of measures announced: the government wants to strongly accelerate the vaccination campaign, especially in the 23 priority departments, thanks to a sharp increase in deliveries of doses (22 million are expected in March and April against 7 million delivered in January and February) and the extension of audiences eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In total, 135,000 doses will thus be allocated to the departments placed under enhanced vigilance, including 10,000 doses for Pas-de-Calais (and without prejudice to the other departments, specified Jean Castex) where a vast vaccination campaign will be organized throughout. the weekend with the exceptional opening of vaccination centres and the opening of ephemeral centres. The ARS should communicate on Friday the practical modalities to benefit from it.
In addition, throughout the country, the government has called for an increase in the importance of vaccination in hospitals and in the city. After general practitioners, pharmacists will also be authorized to administer the anti-Covid vaccine “from the week of March 15” for “people over 50 years of age and with comorbidity”, announced Jean Castex. The patients concerned will “not need a medical prescription” and will be able to go “directly to the pharmacy” to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Prime Minister said, adding that people aged 50 to 74 who have not “No particular pathology” will be able to be vaccinated “from mid-April”.