⇒ 7:05 p.m. [RÉCAP’] The main government announcements
♦ Confinement on weekends in Pas-de Calais
The Pas-de-Calais department will be confined in its entirety on weekends, from 8 a.m. on Saturday, due to increased circulation of the coronavirus epidemic, Jean Castex confirmed Thursday. “The incidence there is indeed increasing very rapidly”, namely from “23% in the last 7 days and now exceeds the threshold of 400 per 100,000, almost twice the national average”, explained the Prime Minister, also pointing to the saturation of intensive care services, “At the highest of all the French departments”.
Vaccination will be possible in pharmacies “From the week of March 15”. Affected patients will not have “No need for a medical prescription” and will be able to go “Directly in the pharmacy” to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine there, the prime minister said, adding that people aged 50 to 74 who have not “No particular pathology” can be vaccinated “From mid-April”. The Prime Minister calls “Solemnly” nursing home staff to be vaccinated.
→ THE FACTS. Covid-19: use of AstraZeneca vaccine extended to 65-75 year olds with “comorbidities”
♦ New departments under surveillance
The government has placed three new departments, Hautes-Alpes, Aisne and Aube, under enhanced surveillance due to the progression of Covid-19, which brings the number of departments under this status to 23, Jean announced Thursday. Castex. Jean Castex a “Guest” the inhabitants of these 23 departments not to leave these territories, and recommended to all French people not to exceed the gauge of six people during convivial moments.
♦ Shopping centers
Non-food shopping centers of more than 10,000 m2, and not only those of more than 20,000 m2 as until now, will be closed in these “Departments at risk”.
♦ At least 20 million people vaccinated by mid-May
“We should have vaccinated at least 20 million people” by mid-May, that is to say all over 50 volunteers, the Prime Minister promised Thursday. “By the summer, we will have received enough doses to have offered vaccination to 30 million people, or two thirds of the population over 18”, added the head of government. 3.2 million people have so far received a first injection, and more than 1.7 million have been vaccinated with two doses.
⇒ 7:00 p.m. [SOIGNANTS] Olivier Véran encourages all health professionals to get vaccinated
Jean Castex recalls that caregivers have been eligible for vaccination since the beginning of January, but “Only one in three caregivers is vaccinated today”, deplores the Prime Minister. Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, specifies that around 40% of nursing home staff and 30% of caregivers, in town and in hospital, have been vaccinated.
→ DEBATE. Covid-19: should the vaccination of caregivers be made compulsory?
“Clearly, that’s not enough”, he asserts, announcing that he would send on Friday “A letter to all caregivers in our country, whether they are in town, at the hospital, in a medico-social establishment, to strongly encourage them to be vaccinated”.
⇒ 6:35 p.m. [VACCINATION] Jean Castex takes stock of the government’s strategy
“Today, 3.2 million people are vaccinated in France and 1.8 million have already received their two doses. More than 80% of residents of Ehpads received a first injection, 60% received their two doses and are now protected », Explains Jean Castex.
According to Jean-Castex, two elements will make it possible to accelerate ” Very strongly “ the vaccination : “The deliveries of doses to France will increase in the coming weeks and we will be able to make more extensive use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has proven its effectiveness”, he announces. “By mid-April we should have vaccinated 10 million people, by mid-May at least 20 million and by summer 30 million”, announces Jean Castex, before recalling the modalities to be vaccinated. “It will be possible to be vaccinated at your pharmacist from March 15”, he specifies.
⇒ 6:30 p.m. [NOUVELLES MESURES] Three new departments under surveillance
Jean Castex announces that the Hautes-Alpes, Aisne and Aube are now part of the departments under reinforced surveillance, because the threshold of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants has been crossed.
The Prime Minister also enumerates new restrictive measures: large shopping centers or large commercial areas of more than 10,000 square meters will be closed, the obligation to wear a mask will be extended to all urban areas where this has not yet been done. the case and the prefects will be able to prohibit certain demonstrations.
⇒ 6:13 p.m. [RESTRICTION] Extended containment in the Pas-de-Calais department
The Pas-de-Calais department will be confined in its entirety on weekends, from 8 a.m. on Saturday, due to increased circulation of the coronavirus epidemic, confirms Jean Castex.
→ EXPLANATION. Covid-19: why the Île-de-France is not reconfined
“The incidence there is indeed increasing very rapidly”, namely from “23% in the last 7 days and now exceeds the threshold of 400 per 100,000, almost twice the national average”, explains the Prime Minister, also pointing to the saturation of intensive care services, “At the highest of all the French departments”. “Large non-food commercial areas of more than 5,000 m2 will be closed” in the department, also added Jean Castex.
⇒ 6:05 p.m. [CONFÉRENCE DE PRESSE] ” We are not facing an exponential rise in the epidemic »Says Jean Castex
The Prime Minister begins his weekly press conference by describing the health situation in France. “The circulation of the virus has accelerated over the past two weeks, mainly because of the British variant. But we are not facing an exponential rise in the epidemic, as in the first and second waves. I see there a confirmation of the first effects of the vaccinations of the populations most at risk ” he explains. However, “Hospitals are still under great pressure”, adds Jean Castex.
⇒ 5:45 p.m. [VACCIN] A production that lacks equipment and personnel
The production of anti-Covid 19 vaccines is slowed down by a lack of equipment, in particular vials, and of staff to ensure their manufacture, French Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher explained on Wednesday March 3, hoping for an acceleration of partnerships between pharmaceutical groups.
→ READ. The High Authority for Health in favor of vaccination by pharmacists and nurses
Three vaccines are currently approved in the European Union: Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. A fourth, that of Johnson & Johnson, could be within a big week. But “Johnson & Johnson tell us themselves that they can’t do more today because they don’t have the human resources to do it”, reported the Minister.
⇒ 17 h 30 [PASS SANITAIRE] New device to ensure the resumption of suspended activities?
In order to be able to reopen cultural, sporting and catering venues, Emmanuel Macron announced the week of February 22 the establishment of a “health pass”, which will take the form of a digital tool. Its modalities were on the menu of a meeting organized at the Élysée on Wednesday March 3 with the main ministers concerned.
Such a device will indeed pose many technical questions, respecting individual data and freedoms. It will require the drafting of a legislative text, specified the government.
→ EXPLANATION. What do we know about the future “health pass” desired by Emmanuel Macron?
This “health pass” can be linked to the TousAntiCovid application and will allow the tracing of contaminations using an identification code to be scanned at the entrance to restaurants or sports halls. It will also give access to certain places to people who are not at risk of infecting others, either because they are vaccinated or because they have recently passed a negative test, explained the head of state.
⇒ 5:15 p.m. [SITUATION] WHO reports increase in cases in Europe
After six weeks of decline, the number of new cases of Covid-19 is on the rise again in Europe, the regional management of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Thursday, March 4. The week of February 22, new cases of coronavirus in Europe rose 9% to just over a million, according to the WHO.
→ INVESTIGATION. The mysteries of the long Covid
“This puts an end to a promising six-week drop in new cases”, noted Hans Kluge, WHO European Director. For him, European countries must speed up their vaccination campaigns. According to official data compiled by AFP, in the European Union, 2.6% of the population has received two doses of one of the Covid-19 vaccines and 5.4% have received at least one dose.
⇒ 5:00 p.m. [RESTRICTIONS] No confinement on weekends, except in Pas-de-Calais
Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic which is not slowing down, the government will only confine Pas-de-Calais during the weekend, but leave the inhabitants of Paris and the departments under reinforced surveillance free to move around.
An announcement made before the traditional press conference of Jean Castex and Olivier Véran, which takes place Thursday March 4 at 6 p.m. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health must announce new restrictions and take stock of the health situation in France.
→ THE FACTS. Covid-19: Paris would escape confinement on weekends but not Pas-de-Calais
Following a defense council and then a council of ministers convened on Wednesday March 3 by Emmanuel Macron, the President of the Republic indicated that he wanted to do everything to avoid a national reconfinement but also a containment on weekends.
The French government hopes “A return to a more normal life (…) perhaps from mid-April”, even if by then the French may cross “Weeks of heavy weather”, said its spokesperson Gabriel Attal.