almost 10,000 new infections, increased hospital stay

In the last twenty-four hours, France has registered almost 10,000 new cases of Covid-19, very close to the record level since the launch of large-scale tests in the country, Public Health France announced on Wednesday. In addition, 46 deaths have been recorded, while the government is preparing the spirits for a tightening of health restrictions in several territories ahead of the epidemic.

The French public health service reported 9,784 new contaminants on Wednesday, September 16, due to a new 24-hour coronavirus and an increase in hospital stays and admissions to intensive care units.

The number of patients in hospital during the last seven days amounted to 2,976, or 263 more than on Tuesdays. Among them, 508 were admitted to intensive care, or 29 more than the day before. The test positivity rate remained stable at 5.4% and 862 infection foci were examined (+77 in 24 hours).

Four to six more deaths have also been recorded, leading to 31,045 deaths since the epidemic in France, confirming a rising curve.

Towards a strengthening of health measures

After Lille, Marseille and Bordeaux, the government is preparing the minds for a hardening of health restrictions in several territories before the rebound in the Covid-19 epidemic.

The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, will once again take the front line on Thursday at 5 pm to defend and detail the anti-Covid-19 policy, in a press briefing that will once again be weekly.

He will make “a clear, pedagogical presentation of the strategy” for the executive “to live with the virus”, said government spokesman Gabriel Attal at the end of a cabinet meeting which is again dominated by the handling of the pandemic.

“Full transparency” will be given “about the numbers” of pollution, “department by department”, assured President Emmanuel Macron, who once again warned that the virus would continue to rage “for several months” in France.

“It’s going faster and faster in some departments, causing the government to tighten the rules,” he added, urging the French to “hang on” before “better days,” after assisting, masked, at 17e stage of the Tour de France, in Méribel (Savoie).

Re-entry with high risk

Among the major cities where restrictions can be announced is Lyon, the Rhône department with an incidence rate of 168 cases per 100,000, the second largest in the metropolis after Bouches-du-Rhône.

In Toulouse, the first city to introduce a worm-bearing, LR Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc believes it is inevitable to strengthen health measures. “We see that the index is deteriorating, so we can not stand without, we have an obligation to go further, we are working on it. We must decide on extension (to wear a mask) and further measures,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

While France as a whole is seeing an increase in the number of cases and hospital stays, the government must not only respond to this rebound but also to overcome the growing mistrust of the population. Almost one in two French people think that the CEO does not “take sufficient precautions” and 62% do not “trust” it to fight the epidemic, 6 points more than at the end of August, an Elabe survey for BFMTV reveals.

In addition, the return to school and university remains a high risk: 81 schools and more than 2,100 classes have been closed since the beginning of September. But this represents only “0.13% of about 60,000 schools in the country,” said Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Keep larger events as much as possible

In the application of the new “territorialised” strategy, any new anti-Covid-19 action will be announced on the spot by the Head of Department, after consultation with locally elected officials, in order to avoid accusations of vertical decisions by Paris.

The state will retain its exceptional powers to restrict gatherings and travel. The Council of Ministers has adopted a bill on Wednesday that extends these authorizations by six months until April 2021.

“Given the state of health, it is necessary to anticipate and give us all the tools to continue fighting the epidemic,” Gabriel Attal explained.

It is this device that made it possible to announce on Monday more restrictive measures in Bouches-du-Rhône, north and Gironde – ban on dance nights in bars and student parties, closure of school trips and restriction of gatherings in parks and beaches.

But Emmanuel Macron insisted that “whenever” it is possible to organize major cultural or sporting events, “we must keep them to a minimum”. He cited as an example the “extraordinary work” carried out by the organizers of the Tour de France, or Roland-Garro’s tennis tournament, scheduled from September 27 to October 11.

The list of many canceled events was added on Wednesday to the British film festival Dinard, which will be chaired by Emmanuelle Béart from 30 September, due to “worrying figures” of pollution in Ille-et-Vilaine.

With AFP and Reuters