Unlike last year, the mask will not be part of the back-to-school outfit. A relief for many and a change that reflects the decline of the Covid-19 epidemic after a seventh wave hit France this summer.
During the third week of August, the circulation of Covid-19 “continued to slow down” and “the number of hospital admissions continued to decrease”, noted Public Health France, last week.
As of August 25, the agency recorded just over 2,500 hospitalizations over a week (-23% in 7 days) including some 260 critical care admissions (-30% in 7 days). The number of confirmed cases in 24 hours was around 3,800 at the start of the week, and was also down (-5% in 7 days).
Towards a comeback
Not enough to overwhelm hospitals. And this, despite the shortage of medical personnel which is disrupting services and has prompted the government to adopt emergency measures to help establishments get through the summer.
As autumn approaches, the authorities are however preparing for a strong comeback of Covid-19. “The experts are all convinced that there will be a resumption of the epidemic in the fall, perhaps when the temperatures drop”, warned this week Brigitte Autran, the president of the new monitoring and risk anticipation committee. health, replacing the Scientific Council which bowed out this summer.
“We have to be very vigilant. For the past few days, the decline in the circulation of the virus has slowed down”, continues the professor of immunology interviewed in “Le Monde”. Experts are considering both a new variant or the strong comeback of Omicron which holds the upper hand in France today, with its BA.5 sub-lineage.
In any case, the Minister of Health, François Braun, is constantly preparing people’s minds. “Yes, there will be an eighth wave in the fall, the scientific authorities are formal on this, what we do not know is what its magnitude will be,” he warned during a trip. in the Hérault last week.
Vaccinate the elderly
Hence the importance for the authorities to accelerate vaccination efforts. And especially for people eligible for a second booster dose. Vaccination coverage remains “insufficient”, noted Public Health France last Friday, “especially among the elderly”.
As of August 22, only some 33% of people aged 60-79 and just over 45% of people aged 80 and over had received their second booster dose (“fourth dose”) among those eligible, the health agency said in his last point on the epidemic.
The elderly are all the more watched as “there will be the Covid and the flu, perhaps concomitantly”, underlined François Braun in an interview with the “Quotidien du Médecin” this week.
Ability to act
On the other hand, “in the event of recovery with a particularly dangerous variant, the text on the end of the state the health emergency leaves us the ability to act”, wants to believe the minister.
As a reminder, the law on the end of the health emergency adopted in July, after bitter parliamentary debates, put an end to the exceptional measures allowing the Prime Minister to decide on confinement or a curfew without the vote. of a new law.
On the other hand, it extends the possibility of requiring a screening test for a trip to France from abroad.
Monkey pox: towards an extension of vaccination in pharmacies
The authorities in charge of health in France welcomed Tuesday during a press briefing signs of a slowdown in the epidemic of monkey pox in France.
The public authorities are also ready to expand vaccination in pharmacies, tested in August in five pharmacies. “We are not sure of generalization”, temporized the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, referring to vaccination in pharmacies only where there is an identified need and voluntary pharmacies.
To date, just over 3,500 cases of contamination by the Monkeypox virus have been identified in France. In the majority of cases, these are men having sex with several male partners. A population estimated at some 250,000 people. Nearly 66,700 have been vaccinated to date.