While Prime Minister Jean Castex, visiting Lille on Monday August 3, called on the French to protect themselves against the virus, to avoid the prospect of a “Generalized re-containment”, the Ministry of Health released the eighth opinion of the scientific council, entitled: “Prepare now to anticipate a return of the virus in the fall”. This 42-page document, sent to the executive on July 27, follows on from the previous opinion in early June, which envisaged four scenarios for the coming months (from the most favorable hypothesis of an epidemic under control to a critical situation, going through two intermediate scenarios), but worried about the prospect “ highly probable “ of a second wave.
For the moment, estimates the scientific council, France is in a situation corresponding to the “weakened type 1 scenario”, like Italy, with a recent upsurge in the number of Covid-19 cases in several regions. In the absence of sufficient measures (barrier gestures, wearing a mask, physical distancing, hand washing), “We cannot exclude an epidemic resumption as early as summer, in particular during poorly controlled gatherings”, underlines the opinion of scientists.
“Slowness to correct”
To prepare for a new epidemic wave in the fall, the scientific council recommends seven protocols on different subjects: barrier measures, tests, isolation of people at risk of severe form, protection of nursing homes and that of populations. in great precariousness. A chapter is devoted to large metropolitan areas, another to hospital preparation and a last to psychosocial risks.
The need for information campaigns “Recalling the importance of wearing a mask and barrier measures during this summer period to protect yourself and those around you” is underlined first. “The obligation to wear a mask in closed public places is a measure that could be extended to all public places”, is it even written in the text of the thirteen experts.
Regarding the test-trace-isolate triptych, the scientific council notes “Delays to correct”. “We are currently seeing a significant increase in cases and clusters for which the care is not optimal”, note the members of the advisory body. Access to testing remains insufficient, due to “Organizational difficulties, a lack of attractiveness and an insufficient number of sample centers, sometimes leading to delays incompatible with adequate and rapid support”.
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