Science

Covid-19: the government evaluates the interest of new measures – Sciences et Avenir

New measures or simple recommendations? A Health Defense Council will have to decide on Monday on the strategy to be adopted, as the Covid-19 epidemic is sweeping the entire country and affecting many children.

The head of state, Emmanuel Macron, has promised to give answers with “pragmatism, proportion and philosophy”, in the face of an epidemic situation that has continued to deteriorate in recent weeks.

Thanks to a highly contagious Delta variant and diminishing vaccine effectiveness over time, the number of new daily cases is now in the tens of thousands, with 42,252 cases on Sunday.

More worrisome is that the number of hospitalized patients exceeds 11,000, a threshold that had not been reached since the end of August.

Several hospitals have reactivated their “white plan”, a measure that allows non-urgent operations to be de-scheduled and to request reinforcements of personnel.

This fifth wave has already pushed several European countries to establish new restrictions, but France does not seem to be in this line.

“By being vigilant and being responsible, we have every means to spend Christmas together,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said in an interview with Le Parisien on Sunday.

“We must limit the virus as much as possible and limit restrictions on our freedoms to a minimum,” added Christophe Castaner, the LREM head of deputies.

– Barrier gestures –

Although the incidence rate is skyrocketing in children, the vaccination of children between the ages of 5 and 11 should be on the agenda of this Health Defense Council.

The High Health Authority (HAS) has already given the green light to vaccinate children at risk of severe forms of the disease (for example, those suffering from chronic liver diseases, chronic heart and respiratory diseases or obesity) but it has not yet spoken for others. .

“If I had to do it in a positive way, and a political decision was made in that regard, vaccinations could begin in early January on a voluntary basis,” said Gabriel Attal.

The government should also insist on the need to respect barrier gestures, as several studies have pointed to a decline in surveillance by the French.

The government spokesman, however, ruled out the return of the meters, assuring that the objective is “not to have to resume general measures that concern everyone.”

There is also the vaccine cartridge and the booster dose, which allows to considerably “boost” immunity, stressed on Friday Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the Scientific Council, which has been advising the government since the beginning of the health crisis.

More than 10 million French people have already taken the step.

While the meetings are taken by storm, the government promises the opening of new niches, insists that there will be no shortage of doses and invites not to shy away from any messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer but also Moderna).

In the rest of Europe, Germany will prohibit access to restaurants, non-essential shops and places of culture to the unvaccinated. Austria lives, until December 11, a new partial confinement.

Belgium will close its primary schools one week in advance for the Christmas holidays.

To make matters worse, the spread of the possibly more contagious and vaccine-resistant Omicron variant weighs like a sword of Damocles.

Sixteen cases have already been confirmed in France, according to the latest official report on Saturday from health authorities. A balance called to evolve rapidly.

Scientists are also monitoring a new variant, first detected in the Congo and France.

“It carries many mutations, without reaching the Omicron record, and it also has an important transmission potential”, underlined in the JDD the virologist Bruno Lina.

But “while waiting for more certainties about these variants, our problem, for the holidays, is Delta,” he recalled.

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