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“Health emergency brakes”: deconfinement, but under surveillance


This device, announced by Emmanuel Macron, can be operated at the local level if the incidence and saturation rates of intensive care services exceed a certain threshold.

A return to freedom, well almost. This Thursday, April 29, Emmanuel announced a four-step deconfinement schedule: “May 3, end of certificates and travel restrictions. On May 19, curfew postponed to 9 p.m. and reopening of shops, terraces and museums, cinemas and theaters with limited gauges. (…) June 9, curfew at 11 p.m. and opening of cafes, restaurants and sports halls. Finally on June 30, end of the curfew“, He listed with the regional press.

However, if these measures are for the moment national, the government could “activate health ’emergency brakes’ in areas where the virus circulates too much», Conceded the president. “At present, there are ten departments in which the incidence exceeds 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants“, Points out Emmanuel Macron in his interview.

The deconfinement plan could therefore be stopped in a metropolis or a department for three reasons: if the incidence rate exceeds “again 400 infections per 100,000 inhabitants“, If we see”a very sudden increase in this rate“, And if the resuscitation services are threatened”saturation“. If these thresholds are reached, “the government, in consultation with the prefects and local communities, will block reopeningHe adds.

For Antoine Flahault, professor of public health at the University of Geneva, basing oneself on these indicators is “very good news, because it would mean that there would be quantified indicators and objectives that we wanted», He confides to Figaro. However, the threshold is not yet “satisfactory“According to him, and should be 13 to 14 times lower:”we remain in mitigation and ‘living with it’, which distances France from any prospect of regaining control of the epidemic.

What do these values ​​consist of?

Discovered in mid-May, the incidence rate consists of measuring the number of cases diagnosed per 100,000 inhabitants. The value of this indicator is published daily by Santé Publique France. Currently, eight departments are above this threshold: Bouches-du-Rhône, Oise, Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and Val-d’Oise, Seine- et-Marne and Essonne.

Incidence rate in France on April 29, 2021. Public Health France

There are 2,705 critical care admissions, including 1,844 intensive care admissions over the last seven days, according to figures published by Public Health France.

For Mircea Sofonea, epidemiologist at the University of Montpellier, these measures are “indispensable»For any reopening. “It is important to take an interest in the hospital occupation, whether there is room for maneuver or not, and in territorial coherence», He describes in Figaro.

This is not the first time that the incidence rate has dictated the conduct of reopening or closing the country. Indeed, the value of 400 patients per 100,000 inhabitants had already been mentioned by the Prime Minister last March: ” This is a very strong point of vigilance, but it is not a containment threshold, all the other indicators are taken into account: occupation of sheaves beds, hospital entrances, etc.He explained on Twitch. According to his words, an incidence rate of 400 always corresponds to a circulation “almost twice the averageHe added.

As of April 29, 2021, the national incidence rate is 302 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Public Health France.

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