THE CHEKING PROCESS – Carried by a more contagious but less lethal variant, the fifth wave changes the game, although uncertainty remains. “Le Figaro” accompanies you on the ridge path between persistent concern and legitimate hope.
In recent weeks, the barometer of the epidemic has not ceased to oscillate, and the epidemiological debates that have become almost familiar have resumed with renewed vigor, creating a disturbing cacophony. There was the amazement of the emergence of a new variant, Omicron, even more contagious than Delta, the surge in cases of contamination to a level not seen since March 2020, the long lines of French people rushing to get to screen and vaccinate before the holidays, at the same time as the doubts concerning the vaccines which we realize are effective, without being miraculous. And all this on top of the fatigue and weariness accumulated over the previous four waves.
This winter gloom is however shaken by some signs of hope. Admittedly, Sars-CoV-2 will not disappear, but it could well become an endemic virus with which we could live without suspending human activities every four mornings, without counting the daily deaths by the hundreds and the daily contaminations by the thousands, without spend your time at the pharmacy wondering if you are sick, not to mention the Covid morning, noon and evening.
In this ambivalent climate, questions jostle and assertions follow one another, often contradictory. Reassuring and enslaving, optimists and pessimists, majority and refractory, professors and politicians cross swords in an unintelligible hubbub. As the days go by, Le Figaro verified dozens of often trenchant statements. Sliced, but often wrongly, because, complex, the Covid requires adopting a nuanced look. With hindsight, the last two years prove it to us. To keep a cool head, we offer you an anthology of ten “verifications” that have marked the news over the past ten days.
The Omicron wave, the last?
Realistic prediction or wishful thinking? The Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, has several times hinted in recent days that with the multiplication of contaminations by Omicron and the increasingly extensive vaccination coverage, there is “a possibility“let the fifth wave be”maybe the last“, because “it is likely that we have all acquired some form of immunity “. Enough? Find our verification below:
After Delta and Omicron, here is “Deltacron”?
The discovery of a new variant, a mixture between Delta and Omicron, was announced last weekend by a Cypriot professor, the Professor Leondios Kostrikis. The information has inflamed websites and the press around the world, raising fears of a combination between the contagiousness of Omicron and the dangerousness of Delta. But doubts have been raised by scientists around the world. Who is right ? Find our verification below:
Should we stop testing?
“How about we just stop testing?!“. The question, posed on January 3 by the Dr Gerald Kierzek, medical director of Doctissimo, had the effect of a small bomb on Twitter. As contamination explodes, the suggestion is disconcerting. “In the midst of an epidemic with a benign variant, it can be seriously discussed!“, insisted the emergency physician and health columnist, who believes that we must get out of the”daily epidemiological calculation“which feeds the”alarmists» and generates «a panic effect“. Reasoning that makes sense? Find our verification below:
Covid-19: are the most vaccinated countries those where there are “the most cases”?
The most famous and controversial of the “covidologists”, the Professor Didier Raoult, claimed this week that vaccines “had increased (sic.) the epidemic“. The director of the IHU Infection Méditerranée takes this as proof that “most vaccinated countries“would be the ones who would record”the most cases now“. When 25% of the Covid cases of the pandemic in France have occurred for less than a month, there has been “at the same time“, 15 million vaccine injections, he argues. Is right ? Find our verification below:
“Facilitating antibodies”: lCan vaccines increase the risk of infection?
The Marseilles scientist, who also defends vaccines for vulnerable people because they are effective against severe forms, puts forward another theory to explain the fact that vaccines do not prevent infections, or even, according to him, could aggravate them. the Professor Didier Raoult to move forward:There are a scientific phenomenon which are the facilitating antibodies, that is, there are antibodies that facilitate infection and their effect is seen within three weeks of infection“. Do such antibodies really exist? Find our verification below:
Is fighting the pandemic with booster doses viable?
While the third doses of vaccine have become widespread and a fourth injection has been announced for the most vulnerable people in Denmark, the World Health Organization (WHO) displays its skepticism, shared by the Agency European Medicines Agency (EMA). “A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable“Warned a group of WHO experts. Marco Cavaleri, responsible for the vaccines strategy of the EMA, even mentioned the risk, still hypothetical, of “overload the immune system of vaccinated people“. Truly ? Find our verification below:
People in intensive care “essentially unvaccinated”?
The overrepresentation of unvaccinated individuals in critical care is regularly highlighted by the government. “Patients who are in response for the Delta variant are, for the most part, unvaccinated patients, and those who are, they are immunocompromised.“, asserted Olivier Veran in the Senate this week. “When I go to the field […], in critical care services, what the President of the Republic said, I hear it everywhere“, claimed Jean Castex in the Senate. Is this really the case? Find our verification below:
Doesn’t Omicron bring in sheaves?
“This variant does not take anyone to intensive care“, said Monday the Dr. Martin Blachier, public health specialist. “Omicron remains in the upper spheres and does not descend into the lungs“, continued the media doctor. Since the appearance of the Omicron variant and the fear of a more deadly wave due to its greater contagiousness, several clues have shown that this mutation was undoubtedly less dangerous. But how much? Find our verification below:
In truth, are the under 40s more numerous than the over 80s?
Has the profile of patients with severe forms of Covid changed? the Professor Philippe Juvin underlined that the intensive care units now saw different patients arriving compared to the first hours of the epidemic. Earlier this week, the head of emergencies at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital said: “There is a data […] which is a bit new, which is that today in France, there are more intensive care patients who are under 40 years old than intensive care patients who are over 80 years old“. Truly ? Find our verification below:
Are there fewer hospital and intensive care beds than at the start of Covid-19?
Faced with contamination records, the question of the solidity of the hospital is coming back to the fore. Among the subjects regularly mentioned, the number of hospital and resuscitation beds concentrates criticism. The opposition has been claiming for months that it has fallen since March 2020, which the government firmly denies. “We are not closing hospital beds, nor resuscitation beds! We reopen“, even assured the spokesman of the government, Gabriel Attal, this week. Who is right ? Find our verification below: