HEALTH – Fell but not yet buried. As of June 17, the mask is no longer required outdoors “with a few exceptions,” Jean Castex clarified during the announcement. But since then, the number of “exceptions” has increased. The Pyrenees-Orientales were the first to reintroduce it on 17 July. The return of the mask now concerns 24 French departments particularly affected by the coronavirus.
The Delta variant, with an average of 18,000 new infections per day, is forcing more and more prefects and mayors to back down. Highly contagious, this variant could end up masking nationwide. This is one of the measures the Pasteur Institute is considering in these latest models to prevent the fourth wave of Covid-19 from flooding a public hospital in September.
While the mask especially adorns our smiles on the outside. Paradoxically, the risk of infection is much lower outdoors. According to various studies published since the beginning of the epidemic, between 6% and 10% of detected cases are from external sources. The move could, in particular, make the French more vigilant and increase the use of other barrier gestures – another solution proposed by the Pasteur Institute to reduce the peak of the fourth wave.
When Veran presented the end of the mask
If Delta continues to circulate at the same rate, it is possible for the mask to return to an enclosed space. This is where it is most useful. Reviewed on July 13 by Olivier Veran, the end of the mask for health pass holders has caused an uproar among scientists. Alain Fischer, the government’s “mister vaccine” or epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola, were particularly opposed.
“Removing the obligation to wear a mask in the middle of a delta wave would be a serious mistake every time sanitation of passes is not strictly enforced, as well as in the absence of strict sanctions for any violation of any type,” detailed epidemiologist Antoine Flão on Twitter.
The groups, in spite of the medical passport and cases of fraud in the past two weeks, illustrate the words of Antoine Flaho. Moreover, there is always a risk that people who pass the test and test negative will turn out to be positive in a few hours. Or that the vaccinated are transmitting the virus. Especially if the vaccination schedule is incomplete or the person has weakened immunity.
This risk, tiny at the individual level but related to the scale of the nation, already justifies the return of the mask to the United States for vaccinated indoors. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) returned to its recommendations on Tuesday, July 27, fto an explosion of cases across the Atlantic.
The vaccine is effective against Delta, but …
“The viral load of people infected with the Delta variant is comparable to the viral load of vaccinated people on the rare occasion that they too get sick,” explains Rochelle Walenski, director of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), at press conference…
The vaccines remain very effective against severe forms of Covid-19 (about 80% after two doses, against Delta, according to the UK Department of Health). They drastically reduce the number of infections, but when they do, the chances of transmitting the coronavirus are then (and only then) comparable.
Other countries chose to retreat. Back on July 6, the Scientific Council warned that Israel has already reinstated mask wearing “in closed public places” and that the local vaccination campaign is one of the most advanced in the world … Covid-19, the mask is still ahead.
Also on The huffpost: what the Pasteur Institute study quoted by Macron says, which describes the 4th wave
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.