The French are more than ever called upon to respect containment with the entry into force on Wednesday April 8, 2020 of new restrictions, while the human toll of the coronavirus epidemic continues to increase, exceeding the 10,000 deaths in the country.
Prefects authorized to tighten measures
Authorities and caregivers fear a relaxation with the return of sunny days in the middle of the Easter holidays (in zone C for the moment, Île-de-France and Occitanie), as numerous images of walkers in different parts of the country have shown.
Consequently, the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, authorized the prefects, in connection with the mayors, to tighten the measures in the event of loosening of the general confinement, established until April 15.
Things have not dragged on in the capital and in four other Ile-de-France departments, where any individual sporting activity is prohibited from Wednesday, from 10 am to 7 pm, faced with the unusual number of “joggers” multiplying outings.
“Not yet at the peak”
On Tuesday, France recorded a new very heavy daily toll in hospitals, with 597 additional deaths in 24 hours, a total of 7,091 since early March. In addition, 3,237 deaths have been recorded in nursing homes and medico-social establishments, making a total of 10,328 deaths.
In total, 7,131 patients require heavy intensive care. The number continues to grow, “an indicator that the epidemic is continuing to grow,” said Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon.
However, with the discharges, the net increase in the number of patients in intensive care – an indicator very followed by professionals because it measures the pressure on the health system – is less and less strong, with a balance of “59 Tuesday (against” 94 Monday and +140 Sunday).
“We are not yet at the peak,” repeated number 2 of the Ministry of Health.
“The worst is not behind us”
“The worst is not behind us, not at all, we are on the contrary in an extremely perilous phase where we should not be mistaken and that we start to deconfinate and do anything”, a warned on his side on CNews Pr Philippe Juvin, chief of emergencies of the Parisian hospital Georges-Pompidou.
“The hour of containment will last,” insisted Prime Minister Edouard Philippe during the questions to government session on Tuesday.
For his part, the Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, advised the French to “wait” before booking trips for the summer holidays, the situation linked to the epidemic being “still too uncertain ”
Screening in nursing homes
The pressure on hospitals and accommodation facilities for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) remains very strong at the moment.
The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced the launch of a vast screening operation in these nursing homes, some of which have been decimated by the disease. And “a large-scale mobilization of reservists” will be effective as of Wednesday for the benefit of 50 Ehpad in the Paris region, according to the Director General of Health.
France is also continuing its efforts to source masks, which are now coveted by the whole planet, and its “safe orders” now reach 1.6 billion units, said Olivier Véran.
Widespread use of the mask remains an “open question,” but the government continues to recommend that it be used only by caregivers and infected people for the time being, he also said.
The epidemic, which has killed more than 75,000 people worldwide, continues to cloud economic prospects.
The use of partial unemployment was requested for 5.8 million employees in France, or one in four in the private sector. It is a record, and could cost 19.6 billion euros in three months. “About half of the economy is at a standstill,” said Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud.