In public health, we are always wary of first times. This puts the Regional Health Agency (ARS) on the alert: since mid-July, for the first time since deconfinement, the number of patients positive for Covid-19 has continued to increase in the Ile region. -of France. Mid-May: 200 cases per day, end of June: 100, today: nearly 500.
So on this Sunday, the day before the start of the compulsory wearing of a mask outdoors in certain areas of Paris and four of its neighboring departments, the number 2 of the institution does not mince words. “We are at the start of the epidemic rebound,” warns Nicolas Péju. His compass? The regional “degradation”, “particularly marked” in Paris, in the incidence rates (the number of new cases reported to the population) and positivity.
The alert threshold almost reached
According to our information, this Sunday, the incidence rate in the capital soared to 46 per 100,000 inhabitants, close to the alert threshold, set at 50, and well beyond vigilance, established at 10. In the Hauts-de-Seine and Seine-Saint-Denis, it is above 31, barely below 30 in Val-de-Marne. “The more we search, the more we find,” point out infectious disease specialists to explain the outbreak.
Certainly, but only in part, qualifies the ARS. “The massive and real increase in the number of tests is not enough to explain the evolution of the situation”, notes Nicolas Péju. Example: over the last fortnight, there has been + 60% of PCR screenings carried out in the region but, at the same time, + 140% of the number of cases.
These data contributed to the prefectural decision to impose the mask in very busy open areas. But they do not convince public health doctor Martin Blachier. “Yes, we see a slight increase in the circulation of the virus, concedes the epidemiologist. In Ile-de-France, a dense region with a lot of interactions, it is quite logical. But calls him to look at “all the indicators”, including the pressure on hospital services.
“There is not much alarming happening there and for good reason, it is especially the young people who are contaminated today”, continues the doctor who likes little – in this context – the wearing of the external mask. For Nicolas Péju, on the contrary, it has its place in the strategy to fight the virus. “The objective is to reverse the trend as quickly as possible and to strengthen prevention so that the rebound does not turn into the start of the second wave. “