COVID-19: France will have to “make difficult decisions”

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The French government “will be forced to take a number of difficult decisions” “within eight to ten days maximum,” said the President of the Scientific Council on Wednesday, describing the level of the COVID epidemic as “worrying”. 19 in France.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

“We can be falsely reassured” because the increase in the circulation of the virus has “little current impact” on the health care system, but there can be “a very rapid, exponential increase in a second step”, a Jean-François Delfraissy warned, pointing “in particular” to the situation in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, in the south-east of the country.

“France is now at a level which is worrying, which is not that of Spain but which is not far away, with a lag perhaps of a fortnight, and which is much more severe than that of Italy, ”he said, during an online press conference devoted to the methods of isolation of infected people and contact cases.

The “contrast” between a sharp increase in the circulation of the virus and hospital services far from saturation “makes decisions difficult to take”, recognizes the president of this body, responsible for advising the executive in its management of the ‘epidemic.

But “any decision that would be taken now will have a potential benefit” on the health situation “in 15 days”, he observes.

In addition, certain mathematical models “show that we could, in certain regions of France and in particular in PACA, find themselves in a difficult situation in terms of the supply of care in terms of intensive care beds in the coming weeks”, a- he added.

Also, “a certain number of measures will have to be taken and decided within eight to ten days maximum, taking into account the delay after the impact of these measures”, judged Professor Delfraissy.

He notably mentioned a strengthening of the protection of the elderly or those presenting a risk factor (diabetes, obesity, respiratory diseases …) in order to “create a kind of bubble around these people”.

For the rest of the population, “France must start to live again”, but being “very active on the strategy of testing / tracing / isolating”, he added, noting that this triptych still left too much to to desire.

In some regions, we could consider moving to “restrictive measures” for the period of isolation of patients and contact cases, said Professor Delfraissy, even if this is not the preferred route for the moment by the Council. scientist.

On the other hand, “measures such as closing bars” or prohibiting “major demonstrations, that’s not what will solve the problem”, he said.

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