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US News Coronavirus: three questions on the dynamics of the epidemic in France

15:15  04 october  2020
15:15  04 october  2020 Source:   lemonde.fr

Coronavirus: faced with the risk of containment, Brussels urges Europe to tighten the screw

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France is on red alert for an epidemic , as the number of coronavirus cases soared dramatically again to 1126 cases, 19 deaths late Sunday–from 613 infections and 9 deaths Friday. The government has issued special advice to travelers in France on the coronavirus .

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While the government could put in place new restrictions in Paris and other metropolises as of Monday, an update on what we know about the spread of the Covid-19 in France.

New restrictions could be put in place in several major cities in France from Monday October 5 in an attempt to contain the Covid-19 epidemic. The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, notably warned during his weekly update, Thursday, October 1, that Paris and the departments of the inner suburbs could go into a state of "maximum" alert if the health situation does not improve. not quickly. Other metropolises like Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne could also be concerned soon.

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In fact, what do the figures tell us about the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in France? Is the health situation continuing to deteriorate? Can we compare it to the epidemic peak in spring? Response elements.

In maps and graphics: visualize the evolution of the epidemic caused by the coronavirus in France and in the world 1. Is the virus circulating more and more widely?

Public Health France has identified 16,972 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours during its daily update published on October 3. A "record" of cases since the start of the pandemic which is not really one: this result is obtained from screening tests, and therefore strongly depends on the number of people who submit to them and the public tested.

However, the number of tests has increased significantly in recent months, while the circulation of the virus could not be correctly measured during the first wave of Covid-19. Retrospective studies by the Institut Pasteur and SpF have estimated that if only a few thousand cases were detected each day, more than 100,000 people were in fact infected at the start of containment.

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Another limit to the exercise: the proliferation of tests has extended their processing time, which leads to a "very likely underestimation" of the figures related to the current tests, warns SpF in its weekly update of October 1. Moreover, the generalization of the tests has led to the detection of a greater proportion of asymptomatic patients, which further complicates the analysis.

It is, however, certain that the virus has circulated more widely in recent weeks than at the beginning of the summer, for example. Since the middle of September, SpF has averaged around 10,000 to 12,000 cases confirmed by tests each day, compared to less than 1,000 in July. The proportion of positive tests, also known as the incidence rate, also increased, from less than 1% in early July to 7.9% on October 3.

2. What is the situation in hospitals?

The pressure on the hospital system increased significantly during the month of September. SpF thus counted on Saturday 4,087 new hospitalizations in the last seven days. Among them, there are 849 patients in intensive care (serious cases), a figure significantly higher than in the middle of the summer, when there were less than 100 admissions in "sheaves" per week, but still far from the peak. epidemic - up to 767 patients affected for the day of March 31 alone.

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What questions do you have about the coronavirus ? In some cases your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or send them via email to

France and Spain have also told people they need permission to move around, with the restrictions being tightened as cases of the virus continued to increase. The coronavirus pandemic has also had a major impact on the sporting calendar, as countries have sought to limit mass gatherings.

In total, 1,289 Covid-19 patients were in intensive care on Saturday, October 3, 13 more than the day before. This number is still far from the maximum capacity in these services nationwide, which is 5,000 beds. However, it has more than tripled since the end of July, when only 385 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized in “shifts”.

The mortality curve follows a similar slope, with 55 hospital deaths linked to Covid-19 per day on average from September 27 to October 3, compared to around ten during the months of July and August. However, we are a long way from the peak in hospital mortality in the spring, with up to 600 deaths per day in early April.

Covid-19: Paris hospitals could cancel staff leave from October 3. Why is the situation considered worrying in Paris?

While around a quarter of the places available in intensive care are currently dedicated to Covid-19 patients nationally, this proportion varies greatly from one region to another. The government has made this one of its criteria to assess the level of risk. The 30% occupancy threshold for "sheave" beds, which was adopted as a condition for placing metropolitan areas or departments on "maximum" alert, was thus exceeded at the end of September in Paris.

The other two indicators have also turned red in the capital. The incidence rate (calculated from positive tests) has exceeded the threshold of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (263) and the incidence on vulnerable populations has exceeded 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (105), indicated Olivier Véran. , Thursday October 1. It is on this basis that vigilance could be stepped up in Paris on Monday.

The share of intensive care beds occupied by patients with Covid-19 has also been adopted by the government as a criterion for placing a department in a "state of health emergency", with a much stricter arsenal of measures. But the 60% threshold established to trigger this level of vigilance is so far far from being reached even in the most affected areas.

Coronavirus in Paris: Towards the closure of bars in the capital .
The occupancy rate of intensive care beds for patients with Covid-19 was 34.8% in Ile-de-France © AFP A bar terrace in Paris, October 3, 2020. HEALTH CRISIS - The occupancy rate of intensive care beds for patients with Covid-19 was 34.8% in Ile-de-France New round of screws in sight in the capital: faced with the progression of the Covid-19 epidemic, the government should announce on Sunday evening the closure of bars in Paris next week.

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