Coronavirus, what you need to know this week: a million dead, at least


Officially, a million dead and probably a lot more. The coronavirus continues to progress in the world as in France where new restrictions are expected in major metropolises. And this despite the protests of the owners bars and restaurants. In Germany, in Spain as in Quebec, the screws are also tightened. Only Sweden remains impassive. This is not the case with universities and colleges French women hit by the multiplication of clusters and where chaos reigns. Finally, with the arrival of bad days and winter viruses, identifying the symptoms of Covid-19 will become more complicated.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro.

1. Threat of new restrictions on large metropolises

Paris like other large metropolises could experience new restrictions if the area goes on high alert. GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS

A million dead and maybe more. On Sunday, the barrier of one million deaths from the coronavirus worldwide was crossed. A number “terribleAccording to the WHO, but probably much lower than reality as the count of deaths is subject to caution, especially in China and in developing countries. The Covid toll is far higher than that of the emerging virus epidemics of the 21st century, but still far from the 50 million deaths from the Spanish flu. In France, 12,845 new cases have been detected in the past 24 hours. Currently, 6,590 people are hospitalized, including 1,238 in intensive care. However, the number of resuscitation beds has not been increased since the first wave due to the lack of personnel necessary for their operation. Four new metropolises, Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and Lille could go today, after the expected intervention of the Minister of Health, on maximum alert and be subject to new restrictions. The result of three months of hesitation and carelessness since deconfinement and an erratic and ineffective communication from the government denounces the Science service of the Figaro. A speech that lost clarity and failed to “keep the French in a state of vigilance“.

The epidemic resumption observed in France and elsewhere. With on average more than 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 detected, France is one of the most affected countries but the upsurge in contamination is also observed elsewhere and is worrying. In Germany, faced with the relaxation of barrier measures, Angela Merkel calls for giving up the autumn holidays. “We know the toughest times are ahead“, Warns the Chancellor who wants to avoid a second” lockdown “. In Montreal and Quebec, it’s also “red alert», Indicates our correspondent. Power, which “wants to avoid at all costs a health disaster like the first wave», Decided a partial reconfinement of five million Quebecers out of eight for the month of October. Bars, restaurants and casinos will have to close, as will cinemas, museums, theaters, libraries and theaters. In Spain, the Madrid authorities are rebelling against a new closure of the capital decided by the government.

2. Contamination in bars, confusion at university

In the district of rue Princesse and rue des Canettes in Paris (6th arrondissement), the police ensure compliance with the measure to close bars at 10 p.m. François Bouchon / Le Figaro

The closure of bars and restaurants contested. The restriction measures announced last week in France keep causing a stir. While the mayors of Bordeaux and Lyon denounced “a sudden change of method“, The appeal against the total closure for two weeks of bars and restaurants in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille was rejected. The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, defends himself arguing that there is “four times more likely to be infected with Covid when you’ve been to a bar in the days before“. A statement that Le Figaro decided to check it out. In Paris, the police are watching for bars that do not close their doors at 10 p.m. Finally, the sports and fitness centers in Bordeaux, which contested their closure, were also dismissed by the administrative court. In compensation, the government announced the extension of partial unemployment for restaurateurs and cafes and for all “protected areasLike culture, events and sport.

Mayhem at the university. Higher education institutions are, according to the latest figures from Public Health France, potential clusters. Even if it seems that student parties organized in private are the main vectors of the spread of Covid-19, universities and large schools are making their comeback in the greatest confusion, experiencing a “patchwork of solutions“. This situation only confirms the economic difficulties of the university. The “all-distancing” solution chosen by private schools particularly annoys parents worried about investing in courses that no longer keep their promises. At Sciences Po, which favors hybrid education with more or less distance depending on the level, students denounce the lack of interaction with professors and unchanged tuition fees.

3. Questions and some answers about Covid-19

With the arrival of winter viruses, it will be difficult to identify the symptoms of Covid-19 that are very similar to those of the flu or a cold. terovesalainen –

News on severe or mild forms of Covid-19. With the onset of winter and its usual batch of viruses, identifying coronavirus infection will become more complicated. How do you distinguish it from the flu or the common cold when the symptoms are so close? “Until proven otherwise, we must consider by default that we are potentially infected with Covid», Advises a doctor, and therefore isolate yourself before anything else. One of the most suggestive signs of Covid is loss of smell. Often present in mild forms of the disease, anosmia can however persist for several weeks or even months. It has a lasting impact on the quality of life of patients who must then undergo olfactory rehabilitation. As for patients suffering from a severe form of Covid-19, some of them could have a defect in their immune defense, more precisely in the production or action of interferons. A valuable avenue for the development of therapeutic strategies.

Let’s check. Since the start of the pandemic, masses of information and claims have been falling every day. In his section Verification, Le Figaro disentangles the true from the false. This week, the editorial team looked at a study that suggests that prescription glasses could protect against the virus. But also on the theory, defended by doctors, according to which the mask would reduce the severity of Covid cases. Some media lend the Institut Pasteur de Lille the discovery of a drug that is finally effective against the disease, is it true? Finally, do nursing staff leave the public hospital? This is what Professor Anne-Claude Crémieux, professor of infectious diseases at Saint-Louis hospital in Paris, says.

4. Reflexes to keep

A few simple actions can limit the spread of the virus. Here they are :

  • Wash your hands every hour
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Avoid kissing or shaking hands
  • Wear a mask in public spaces when respect for physical distances is not guaranteed.

Covid-19 is transmitted by droplets (respiratory secretions), by close contact with an infected person, especially when the latter coughs or sneezes. But it could also be transmitted through the air. The virus also remains viable for a few hours on different surfaces.

The disease manifests itself in several symptoms. In 9 out of 10 cases, this results in a fever below 39 ° C. According to the World Health Organization, this fever is most often accompanied by fatigue, signs of shortness of breath and a dry cough. Often a loss of smell and taste.

5. What to do in case of symptoms?

The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will order a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected.

If the test is positive, the Primary Health Insurance Fund will contact people likely to be infected. You must then remain isolated for at least 8 days, taking care not to infect your loved ones. Watch your health. In case of fever, take paracetamol. Plan a follow-up remote consultation with your doctor if necessary. If you feel that you are having difficulty breathing, call 15.

If the test is negative, contact your doctor and follow his instructions.

See you next week.


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