Eighth wave: the scenario for the next few weeks

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Should we fear new restrictions? The eighth wave of Covid-19, which will surely not be the last, worries political and health authorities. Long-awaited, with the drop in temperatures and the end of barrier gestures, it remains no less problematic: will the situation be tenable in hospitals? Can the most vulnerable people be protected?

According to the latest data from Public Health France, 42,600 cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours, 14% more than last week and the incidence rate is now 552, up 23% over the past seven days. . The test positivity rate is also increasing, having climbed 13%, but the effective R remains stable. Currently at 1.2, it means that a patient infects at least one person.

On the hospital side, admissions are up over the past seven days, but emergency room visits are down. Admissions to critical care, meanwhile, are also increasing since 475 people have joined these services over the last seven days. More worryingly, the number of deaths is on the rise again and 244 deaths have been recorded as of October 5, an increase of 22% in seven days.

Should we be worried about this epidemic outbreak in France? Asked by Le Journal du dimanche, infectious disease specialist Anne-Claude Crémieux believes that the latter will have “a moderate health impact” in the coming months … Barring bad surprises, which could lead to new decisions concerning restrictions …

Nothing to panic, unless a new variant emerges in the coming weeks, explains the doctor to the Sunday newspaper. She recalls that the first seven waves of Covid “were linked to the emergence of variants or sub-variants, hence the very numerous reinfections”. “The current wave, on the other hand, is – to date at least – not linked to the appearance of a new strain”, she specifies with the weekly.

“If no new variant arrives, we can hope for a moderate health impact, on condition, however, of persuading the over 60s to give regular reminders”, she concludes with the weekly, recalling that “protection against severe forms fades after six months”. Be careful not to jump for joy too quickly, because an optimistic scenario is not privileged. The moderate scenario does not rule out the return of certain restrictions…

“The very optimistic scenario of an eradication of the virus is excluded,” says Anne-Claude Crémieux to the Sunday newspaper. On the contrary, she sees rather an “endemic-type scenario, with new waves of infections, more marked in autumn or winter as for the flu or other respiratory viruses”. Should we return to certain restrictions? The infectiologist evokes the wearing of the mask and, according to her, it is normal “that the authorities think about it”: “In 2020-2021 to protect the population, it was necessary to stop the virus at all costs. But today the fragile population is protected by the vaccine and the situation is better. Weariness lurks. It is more complicated to impose an obligation”.

Will the government mask the population again? The president of Covars, who replaced the Scientific Council, said last week that the body was “studying” the return of the mask in certain places. Will the government decide this week? The Minister of Health recently only recommended wearing it in the busiest places, but it does not seem to have been heard… Will a new turn of the screw be needed?