Covid-19, what you need to know this week: the long tail of the epidemic

Despite the absence of health restrictions in the polling stations, the epidemic could weigh on the ballot.


The number of contaminations may remain high, but the Covid-19 seems out of our concerns. So much so that lipstick has regained its place in the makeup bag of French women. Sign that the time of the Covid is behind us, the first round of the presidential election next Sunday will be held without health restrictions. However, the epidemic could not be forgotten so quickly because the health crisis has reinforced the emergence of anti-system voters. Yellow vests, antivax and antipass could weigh on the ballot.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro.

1. Presidential under Covid

Unlike the municipal elections of 2020, the mask will not be compulsory in the polling stations for the presidential election. Francois Bouchon / Le Figaro

Health impact. After the health protocol for the presidential election was unveiled last Thursday, Professor Gilles Pialoux worried about an explosion in contamination between the two towers, up to a million cases in two weeks. Epidemiologists interviewed by Le Figaro are more serene and believe that interactions in the polling stations are sufficiently limited not to weigh too much on the curve of the indicators. Assessors, however, should protect themselves with FFP2 masks and have an up-to-date vaccination pass, they recommend.

Electoral impact. If the conduct of the vote is not disrupted by the Covid, the health crisis has however favored the emergence of a fringe of refractory voters, today courted by the candidates, reports the political service of the Figaro. “There are two ways to oppose the systemsays political scientist and pollster Jérôme Sainte-Marie. Do not vote at all or turn to anti-system political forces.» In other words: Antivax or antipass constitute significant reservoirs of votes for Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Mélenchon unless abstention wins the day.

2. Latest news

The second booster dose will be open to people over 60 in France. ERIC GAILLARD / REUTERS

Numbers. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, according to data from Public Health France, even if there is a beginning of a decline. Contaminations have thus ceased to rise: with 161,950 positive cases recorded in 24 hours, the average for the last seven days stands at 134,991, after having exceeded 140,000 last Friday. However, the trend remains upward in the hospital. In Moselle, the CHR Metz-Thionville announced Tuesday to trigger its white plan to try to cope with the increase in the incidence rate and hospital pressure.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: Should we be worried?

The figures to remember in France

  • 1561 patients in critical care (+9 since the day before)
  • 23.014 hospitalized patients (+4 since the day before)
  • 161,950 new cases detected (compared to 169,024 a week ago)
  • 116 deaths in 24 hours in hospital (142,012 dead since the start of the epidemic in hospitals and nursing homes)
  • 53.4 million of people with a complete vaccination schedule (79.2% of the population)
  • 40.3 million booster doses administered

Source: Public Health France as of April 6

Vaccine. In France, the second booster dose of vaccine against Covid-19 will be open to people aged 60 and over, whose last injection dates back more than six months, announced this Thursday morning the Minister of Health Olivier Véran . In Europe, health authorities gave the green light on Wednesday to a second booster dose (or fourth dose) of vaccine for people over 80. For adults under the age of 60 with normal immune systems, there is currently ‘no conclusive evidence’ that vaccine protection against serious diseases diminishes and that a fourth dose has added value, the institutions concluded. .

Germany. Germany renounces lifting the obligation of isolation for people positive for Covid from May 1. “It was a mistake for which I am personally responsible. It gave the wrong signal“, declared to the press the Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach.

Europe. Covid-19 “contributed” to reducing the prison population in Europe in 2020, according to a study published Tuesday by the Council of Europe. And this, in part thanks to the “traffic restrictions” imposed during the pandemic. The study carried out by the University of Lausanne also invokes “the slowdown of judicial systems” and “release programs“established”in some countries to prevent or curb the spreadof the virus.

And also. The week of March 14 when the obligation to wear a mask was lifted, lipstick sales jumped 35% in perfumeries, according to the NPD firm. A return to form, however, insufficient to regain the ground lost during two years of epidemic. Chewing gum and toothpaste are also on the rise, we are told.

3. Travel (almost) peacefully

Traveling is getting easier as restrictions fall in many countries. ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA / REUTERS

Travel restrictions continue to ease across Europe and beyond according to the map maintained by the travel department of the Figaro . For example, there is no longer a mandatory test for vaccinated people wishing to land in Brazil or Canada. But be careful, traveling to the overseas departments still requires a test. Some have even maintained restrictions or even the health pass as in Martinique. Finally, traveling can still hold surprises for people vaccinated and tested. Last weekend, the company Easyjet had to cancel more than 200 flights due to numerous cases of Covid-19 detected among its flight personnel.

4. Mask and pass

Since March 14, health restrictions linked to the epidemic have been mostly abandoned. However, mask and pass are still required in some places:

The mask is still required in public passenger transport and health establishments. Wearing a mask remains recommended for positive people and contact cases at risk, symptomatic people and health professionals.

The sanitary pass (vaccine, negative test, certificate of recovery) is always requested at the entrance to hospitals, retirement homes and establishments for the disabled.

5. The reflexes to keep

The virus is transmitted by droplets and aerosols. The barrier gestures detailed by the Ministry of Health must be observed to protect themselves and others:

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use single-use tissues
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Air the rooms as often as possible, at least a few minutes every hour
  • Greet without shaking hands and stop kissing

6. What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease is most often manifested by cough, fever or feeling feverish, loss of smell and taste, fatigue. If after a few days, you have trouble breathing or are out of breath, you should contact 15. The symptoms would be lighter with the Omicron variant, similar to those of a cold: sore throat, headache, runny nasal.

In case of signs of the disease, the most important thing is to get tested. The test, PCR or antigen, remains free for non-vaccinated people on medical prescription or after having been identified as a contact case by Health Insurance. In the event of a positive result on a self-test, a confirmation PCR test is recommended. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself and wear a mask. If the test is positive, isolation must last 7 days from the first symptoms for vaccinated persons, 10 days for unvaccinated people. It can be broken on D+5 or D+7 respectively, if you have a negative test and you have had no symptoms for 48 hours. Good to know, since March 21, 2022, contact cases no longer need to isolate themselves, vaccinated or not.

See you next week.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: the European Union wants to harmonize the recommendations on the 4th dose of vaccine


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