Science

Covid-19: the highlights of the week of April 27, 2021

The figures of the week in France

5,503,996 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (+6,696 cases since the day before).
103,285 cumulative deaths since the start of the epidemic (+449 since the last 24 hours).
12,291 new hospitalizations over the last 7 days including 2,994 critical care admissions.
14,102,290 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of April 18, 2021.

Science

Vaccination: a benefit also for pregnant women

Slightly behind general population data, evidence is mounting in favor of anti-Covid-19 vaccination in pregnant women. Especially since the newborn could itself inherit some form of protection against the virus. Pregnant women would benefit from anti-Covid-19 vaccines from the second trimester of pregnancy. The actual risk of serious illness and death in pregnant women is low in absolute terms, but it is significantly higher than in non-pregnant people of the same age group. According to a CDC study (U.S. health authorities) out of more than 450,000 women with symptomatic Covid-19, they are more likely to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit and require a high level of care, including machine-assisted breathing assistance, and risk more to die if that happens. “Covid-19 during pregnancy has been associated with consistent and substantial increases in severe maternal morbidity and mortality and neonatal complications“in pregnant women, concludes another team in a study on more than 2,000 pregnant women in 18 countries, including France. To read our full analysis, visit the website of Science and the Future.

Airborne transmission, the main source of contamination

The aerosol transmission track has just taken on even more importance, with the publication of three scientific articles in three different leading medical journals: the Lancet, the British medical journal (BMJ) and the Journal of the american medical association (JAMA). It emerges from this work that not only SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, travels well in the air, but also that aerosols are the dominant mode of transmission of the virus. Concretely, “a person in an indoor environment can inhale enough virus to cause infection more than two meters from the original source – even after the original source is gone“, explains the British Medical Journal. Even when wearing a mask, protection against possible transmission is not guaranteed. “Masks generally prevent large droplets from landing on covered areas of the face and most are at least partially effective against inhaling aerosols.“But we have to imagine the virus as cigarette smoke that remains suspended in the air. To better understand the challenges of this work, our article can be read on Science and the Future.

France

Covid: no more age limit for self-tests and antigenic tests in France

The Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) has decided to authorize rapid nasal swab tests for children under 15 years of age. A measure that should facilitate screening for Covid-19 in schools. These “antigenic tests on a nasal sample have the advantage of combining rapidity of results and possible repeated use in a wider audience“the authority said in a statement. Until now, these tests could only be used by those over 15 years old. But”in light of recent modeling work“, the HAS concluded”that these tests can be a screening tool for children under 15“and that they are”relevant to breaking the chains of contamination, especially in schools“. They have two major advantages: the result is known in 15 to 30 minutes because they do not require passage in the laboratory and they are also less invasive than nasopharyngeal swabs (the swab must be inserted less deeply into the nose). .

End of the 10 kilometers on May 2 and opening of the terraces in mid-May according to a source close to the executive

The executive plans to lift on May 2 the ban on moving more than 10 km from his home, possibly easing the curfew and reopening from mid-May terraces, non-food shops and places. of culture, with reduced gauges, explained a source close to the executive. As he had indicated at the end of March, Emmanuel Macron will himself speak again to announce the modalities of the reopening, probably by the first week of May, according to this source. This reopening schedule is confirmed, underlined this source close to the executive. And there would therefore no longer be an exit certificate at the beginning of May. This choice reflects the conviction, at the Elysee Palace as at Matignon, that the number of contaminations will fall to around 20,000 per day within a month and that the target of 20 million vaccinated with at least one dose, scheduled for mid-May , will be reached.

Abroad

EU sues AstraZeneca for late deliveries

The European Union has announced that it has sued the AstraZeneca laboratory for not having kept its commitments on deliveries of its anti-Covid vaccine, a procedure that the Swedish-British group immediately judged “unfounded”. AstraZeneca delivered in the first quarter to EU countries only 30 million doses of the 120 million contractually promised. In the second quarter, it intends to provide only 70 million of the 180 million initially planned. Legal action has been taken “on behalf of the Commission and on behalf of the twenty-seven Member States, unanimous in their support for this procedure“, added the spokesperson. This is an action in summary (urgent) brought before the French-speaking court of first instance in Brussels, AFP learned from this court. A first hearing is scheduled as soon as possible. Wednesday April 28.

Covid: more than 323,000 new cases in India where international aid begins to arrive

Indian health authorities have identified 323,144 new cases of infection and 2,771 deaths in the past 24 hours as the first shipments of British medical aid, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived on Tuesday morning April 27. in the country. Delhi hospitals lacking oxygen launched SOS on Friday April 23 when thirteen Covid-19 patients died in a hospital fire in the suburbs of Bombay, a tragedy adding to the health disaster that is overwhelming India. The dilapidated Indian health system has long suffered from underfunding and, faced with this second acute epidemic wave, is sorely lacking in the drugs and oxygen needed by the patients most seriously affected by Covid-19. This exponential upsurge was partly attributed to the “double mutation“virus outbreak and crowd gatherings, such as the long Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, northern Uttarakhand state, where around 25 million Hindu pilgrims, most without masks or physical distancing, have flocked from there. January until the end of the month.

No sign“of contagion during a test concert of 5,000 people in Barcelona

There was no “no sign“of contagion after the rock test concert held on March 27 in Barcelona, ​​Spain, with 5,000 masked dancing spectators but without distance, said the organizers on Tuesday. The audience, who had been subjected to an antigen test before the concert, wore FFP2 masks. According to the doctor, only six positive cases were notified among the 5,000 spectators, fifteen days after the concert and the organizers are certain “that for four of these six cases, the transmission did not take place during the concert“.

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