The coronavirus infections are on the rise again across the country.
Monday, March 14, comes the end of wearing a mask in almost all places where it was mandatory, as well as the end of the vaccination pass. At the same time, the infection has increased again in recent days. “This pandemic is far from over,” the WHO chief warned on Wednesday.
Is it too early to lift health restrictions? While some specialists defend the government’s strategy, others call for vigilance.
“Promises in an electoral situation”
“We are in an unprecedented situation for golf management: we announced a month in advance that the game had been won,” said Benjamin Davido, an infectious disease specialist at the Raymond-Poincaré hospital in Garches in the Hauts-de-Seine, at BFMTV. com. By way of illustration, only in effect since January 24, the end of the vaccination pass was announced very quickly for the course of March.
A situation that does not make it possible to contain the epidemic as well as possible. “That inevitably leads to easing well before the deadline,” continues Benjamin Davido. We are waiting for March 14 as we are waiting for Christmas.”
“We made promises in an electoral situation, that’s the problem,” said Benjamin Davido.
In addition to the lifting of restrictions and a possible easing of the French, the current recovery is also due to school holidays. They have, in fact, led to a significant intermingling of the population, followed by a return to school with a protocol that is much less strict than before. As a result, the regions most affected by the increase in contamination are those of Zone B, which is the first to return from vacation.
An unconditional lifting of restrictions
For Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist, professor of public health and director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, the biggest problem with the current situation is that restrictions have been lifted “on a calendar and not on indicators”.
Indeed, on February 22, before the Senate, Olivier Véran announced the withdrawal of the vaccination pass if certain conditions related to the epidemic are respected on the territory. “We won’t be there on March 14,” Antoine Flahault told BFMTV.com.
For specialists, health restrictions, and their withdrawal, should no longer be based on a calendar, or even if the number of infections is no longer correlated with hospital admissions. Conversely, it is hospital data that should guide health policy.
A long-term strategy
Doctors don’t want to be alarming, though. Right now, this rebound is just “background noise” in the hospital, explains Benjamin Davido. However, there is usually a delay of ten days between the evolution of the number of infections and a possible repercussion in hospitals.
“Many people, especially the youngest and the vaccinated, are not at much risk. But there is still the problem of long-term Covids and that of vulnerable people who are left a little alone and left to their own devices,” laments Antoine Flahault, advocate wearing a mask indoors for an extended period of time.
While some specialists are optimistic about this recovery, which they say should be largely hampered by the arrival of spring temperatures, others are calling for caution. “In New Zealand or Hong Kong, we are in the middle of summer and in the middle of a major epidemic wave, the epidemiologist warns. The climate plays a part, but does not block the virus.”
“The problem is not the next two weeks”. For specialists, the challenge for the government is to find a long-term strategy to build dikes so that the virus circulates weakly and does not cause too large waves for the hospital system.