Coronavirus, what you need to know this week: vaccination at the heart of the concerns

The government favors maintaining the current restriction measures but is boosting the vaccination campaign.


This week’s weekly government press conference is unlikely to result in any specific announcements. But be careful all the same France’s Island, where the situation is very tense in hospitals. The executive is focusing on the vaccine, administered as of next Monday in the pharmacies. The vaccination of caregivers is also at the heart of the concerns when only a third of them in the hospital offered their arm to the syringe. While waiting for the effects of the vaccination, restoration timidly tries to prepare the reopening of the establishments while in the occupied theaters, the culture makes his voice heard and refuses to play the role of the great forgotten.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Le Figaro.

1. Dunkirk and Nice, still confined, tension is mounting in Île-de-France

Hospitals and clinics in Ile-de-France must reduce their surgical activities to free up intensive care beds. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

Prolonged confinement. The government maintains this week the status quo on the restriction measures applied in France as the epidemic continues its course with more than 30,300 new cases detected in 24 hours. The number of intensive care patients remains high but stable at 3,918 people. In the Alpes-Maritimes, “it has been decided, and it is a difficult decision, to extend the confinement for this weekendGovernment spokesman Gabriel Attal said. An update on the epidemiological data will be made next week before considering what to do next. For its part, Dunkirk has already approved the extension of confinement for the next three weekends to align with the neighboring department of Pas-de-Calais, placed in the same boat for the entire month of March. Regions that suffer from a very tense health situation while elsewhere the epidemic is declining. This is the case in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, a department that has fallen below the alert level threshold. While tourists were numerous in February, the border is close and the population old, the incidence rate has fallen to 42.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (472.9 in the Alpes-Maritimes). A situation that puzzles scientists. New Caledonia, for its part, is taking advantage of its island status to test the zero-Covid strategy. After the detection of nine cases, she is confined for fifteen days. The price to pay to continue to benefit from “life before“.

Alert on the Paris region.The confinement of Île-de-France is not current”, Said Tuesday the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon. The weeks to come will however be under very strong tension. The Ile-de-France regional health agency (ARS) has already ordered hospitals and clinics in the Ile-de-France to deprogram 40% of their medical and surgical activities, to increase the number of intensive care beds dedicated to patients in the Covid-19. Medical evacuations are also planned, Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday. “The epidemic is skyrocketing in the region», Warns the president of the region Valérie Pécresse who does not exclude additional restrictive measures.

2. Speed ​​up the vaccination of caregivers

Too many people are still suspicious of the AstraZeneca vaccine. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

Get vaccinated at the pharmacist. This is the new possibility opened by the government from next Monday for people over 50 with comorbidity. While the previous weekend broke records with 300,000 injected doses, the vaccination campaign will be able to take a new rhythm thanks to the pharmacists authorized to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine. A process already tested this week in pharmacies in Brittany and which is not without hiccups. General practitioners angrily denounced the diversion, to their detriment, of deliveries of doses to pharmacies. A bad blow when the logistics and the lack of staff are already slowing the deployment of vaccination in their practices.

Vaccination of caregivers pointed out.A year ago we were applauded, now we are accused of irresponsibility“. Caregivers express their discomfort at the vaccination injunctions which have multiplied this week. Only a third of them are vaccinated. This is too little, Olivier Véran reminded us when thousands of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine await them. The vaccination obligation of nursing staff returns to the table, mentioned by the President of the Republic himself. An unpopular measure but supported by the Academy of Medicine. The health orders for their part appeal to “ethical duty“. There are several reasons for this reluctance, which is more common among nursing assistants than among doctors. The side effects seen with AstraZeneca’s vaccine and doubts about its effectiveness have cooled some while others do not feel a priority.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine coming soon. In the United States, vaccinated people can meet without masks and without respecting social distances with people from another household. A freedom that will affect more and more people as Joe Biden accelerates the vaccination campaign. It aims to vaccinate the entire population by the end of May thanks to the launch on the market two weeks ago of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which requires only one injection. In Europe, the approval of this vaccine is awaited by the European Medicines Agency on Thursday, March 11.

3. Reopen one day

Angry culture occupies the Odeon theater in Paris. BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

Catering and culture do not want to be forgotten. It is a very timid step towards reopening that has been initiated in the restaurant sector. During a meeting last Friday between professionals and the government, no date has been set but the health protocol has been clarified. In particular the QR codes which would allow customers to be warned if a person present at the restaurant at the same time was declared positive for the coronavirus. They should also soon be tested at the entrance of roadside restaurants. An idea that could be taken up by angry theaters, occupied by demonstrators who challenge the Minister of Culture. “Roselyne, is there anyone?” can we read on the banners while professionals demand an extension of the white year for intermittent entertainment and the reopening of rooms. A German study could give them a boost. It shows that closed cultural places where social distances and the wearing of masks are applied are less contaminating than shops and schools.

4. To know everything about vaccines

To know the latest information on vaccines against Covid-19, the progress of the vaccination campaign, the schedule, the specifics of the vaccines, the side effects, Le Figaro invites you to visit his regularly updated article.

5. Curfew, instructions for use

Partly deconfined, France is under curfew since December 15. It is possible to move around freely during the day but leaving your home is prohibited between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., under penalty of a fine of 135 euros. A schedule imposed on the entire metropolitan area since January 16.

There are derogatory grounds for which a certificate must be presented.

  • Business trips.
  • Consultations and care
  • Travel for imperative family reasons.
  • Travel for people with disabilities and their companions.
  • Judicial or administrative summons.
  • Participation in missions of general interest
  • Travel related to transit
  • Short trips for the needs of pets.

Since January 31, borders of France with countries outside the European Union are closed. Travel outside the European area and to the French overseas departments and territories is only authorized for very specific personal, medical and professional reasons, death of a loved one, health reasons, professional reasons, etc. The travel service of Figaro gives you the details.

Since February 27, the coastal municipalities in the department of Alpes-Maritimes and the city of Dunkirk are confined on weekends.

6. Reflexes to keep

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

  • Wash your hands every hour or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • 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 can 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.

7. 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 prescribe 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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