Unlike the month of May, the confinement did not make it possible to bring down sufficiently either the contaminations or the pressure on the hospital system.
If France is officially out of confinement at the beginning of the week, the epidemiological situation of the country will not allow a carefree Christmas holiday. “There is a worrying development of the epidemic ”, notes Public Health France. In constant decline since the beginning of November, contaminations first reached a plateau, before increasing by 10% during the week of December 7 to 13. The implementation of antigenic tests, more rapid, and the approach of holidays synonymous with family reunions, help to increase the use of tests, and mechanically affect the number of positive cases. The increase in the number of cases is therefore probably partly induced by these changes in behavior.
But the circulation of the virus remains high throughout the country. “The positivity rate remains stable, which indicates that the increase is very real, analysis Pierrick Tranouez, modeling specialist at the Litis laboratory at the University of Rouen-Normandie. Unlike this summer, the incidence rate is fairly homogeneous in all age groups and on the territory, even if the Grand Est and Burgundy seem a little more concerned. “
According to data from the Obépine network, which monitors the viral load concentration in wastewater, the situation is very heterogeneous. Some stations experience a very slight decrease, while the increase is noticeable in other regions. “Hospital indicators which are more reliable confirm a slight increase, analysis Samuel Alizon, research director at CNRS and member of the epidemiology and evolution of infectious disease modeling team in Montpellier. The R is now very slightly greater than 1. “
Unlike the month of May, the confinement did not make it possible to sufficiently drop either the contaminations or the pressure on the hospital system. “If the dynamic remains the same in the coming days (which is rather optimistic), we will not go below the 2,000 people in intensive care unit and we will reach 50,000 deaths outside nursing homes by mid-February”, Samuel Alizon alert. Experts still cannot explain why the contaminations curve has suddenly stopped its downward trajectory. Several hypotheses are mentioned: a relaxation following several positive announcements (vaccine and deconfinement) or the impact of the weather and a drop in temperatures at the end of November… None is so far convincing on its own.
And with the holidays coming, it’s utterly impossible for scientists to predict in any way the epidemic trajectory for the next few days. “The dynamics of the last few days are not the most reassuring, comments Jean-Stéphane Dhersin, Deputy Scientific Director of the National Institute of Mathematical Sciences and responsible for the MODCOV19 modeling platform. The R was still at 0.58 two weeks ago and has continued to climb. But between the closure of schools, parental leave, train travel, and family meals, there are a lot of factors that will be changed, which prevents any projection. ” One thing is certain, these holidays are looming in a less favorable context than hoped for. There are still 25,000 people in the hospital, including 2,800 in intensive care.
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