Covid-19. The call of scientist Axel Kahn to “avoid radical reconfinement”

Vyou come to sign a forum in which you call for “ ring the end of recess ». What do you mean by that and don’t you find the expression infantilizing to say the least? ?

Axel Kahn : ” Two points. The first, so that there is no ambiguity, there is no contempt when we speak of “the end of recess”. It is completely normal, especially among the less senior, that there is this desire to party after the confinement period that we have known. It is not a condemnation. But what happened is what happened: people were infected. And these people live on the same planet as the most fragile that they have ended up contaminating too. Hospitalizations increase by 5 to 15% and this will end up being felt on the intensive care units. It is inevitable. While with certain precautions, it would be possible to stem this. “

“I am not an Ayatollah, but a knowing who tries to inform”

More than outside, you seem especially worried about private gatherings, why ?

“In family celebrations, we get together, there is direct contamination. We are face to face, next to the little one, we blow out the candles together … It is a call to responsibility and solidarity. We must limit private gatherings, keep the distance, keep the mask … Because the numbers are increasing. The fools said there was no more worry, because the hospitalizations were not increasing. There, it increases and they say that in the services of sheaves, it is fine … And when it increases, they will say that the number of deaths is lower … But we see in many sectors, like the Bouches-du -Rhône or the French overseas departments and territories, a worrying phenomenon. Our alert aims above all to avoid a radical reconfinement because it works to break the chain of transmission. But it is also radical for the economy and the psychological state! “

Call on the government to go further to fight the virus ?

“I am against a hygienist Republic. We asked for the mask to be worn in closed places, we obtained it. There, we are addressing citizens. If we hadn’t made the effort to wash our hands, to test, to trace cases … We would be in a much worse situation than it is. I am not an Ayatollah, but a scholar who tries to inform. Especially about the most fragile, as president of the League against cancer. “

Don’t you fear that you will be criticized for wanting to intrude on your privacy? ?

“If we take the part of people who respect the wearing of a mask, it is very important. The anti-masks, the conspirators, they are vituperating. But not many. People can understand that when we organize a holiday meal at home, there is a significant danger. People are being warned that it is possible to improve the fight against the coronavirus and bring down contamination. We give the information, then there is free will. But the limit of freedom is to harm that of others. And people also have the freedom not to be infected. “

With your president’s cap the League Against Cancer, you have, on several occasions, sounded the alarm bells about the risks of drug shortages during confinement. Has the situation evolved positively ?

“The shortage was not due to the Covid. But the crisis made it worse and it was particularly distressing for the sheave services. And this is true for all drugs that have fallen into the public domain: prices have fallen, the manufacturers are almost exclusively in Asia; those in India are still at a standstill. But we’ve been alerting for ten years! “

What solutions do you recommend ?

“It won’t happen overnight. But there are four steps to take. We need to impose stocks for four months to avoid shortages. We have some for wheat, for fuel … Medicines against cancer, wouldn’t that be essential? The second measure is financial penalties for lack of stock. Then, it is necessary to better inform and support sick people, to prioritize them: imagine the concern of these people when you do not know if you will be able to have the drug without which you risk death or an ablation. Finally, we must repatriate the manufacture of molecules to Europe and, each time, have two factories in Europe to guarantee deliveries. Either by a public body manufacturing these molecules or by nationalizing. If not by helping companies so that they can still make a small profit. “

You have an ear for politicians, what are the feedbacks on these recommendations? ?

“I had spoken at length with Agnès Buzyn [ancienne ministre de la Santé, NDLR] and I spoke about it with Olivier Véran [l’actuel ministre, NDLR]. He seems receptive. I think the problem is more with the ministries of the economy and industry with the drug companies who are lobbying. Is it normal that Sanofi can stop producing BCG vaccines? That the production of mitomycin C – one of the two bladder cancer drugs – is so problematic? The authorities should have intervened. “

Shouldn’t it be a European Ministry of Health to secure the supply ?

“We need harmonization, a strategic unit. That is playable. But health is no exception to the democratic game and it would take planning that would escape political quarrels. Wanting a sanctuary, a European ministry … These are words! The best remains the diversification of sources. “

New restrictions?

After Lille, Marseille and Bordeaux, the government is preparing the spirits for a hardening of the constraints in several territories, while the French are showing their skepticism about its strategy. The Minister of Health will go to the front line today to defend and detail the anti-Covid policy, in a press briefing that is once again weekly. It must list the territories where contamination is increasing and which could be subject to health restrictions which will be announced on site by the prefects, after consultation with local elected officials. The state retains its exceptional powers to restrict gatherings and travel, the Council of Ministers having presented a bill yesterday which extends these authorizations by six months, until April 2021.

Tests and results: the long wait

Despite repeated requests from the medical profession, announcements from the Prime Minister and press releases from the Regional Health Agency (ARS) in Normandy, the deadlines for taking a Covid test continue to lengthen. As for having quick results …

Carrying around a child of three years old, when he has an ear infection and a little fever, that was not really on the program of this father of
Petit-Quevilly last Monday.
« Except that the doctor preferred to prescribe a Covid test. I thought that with the prescription, you just had to go anywhere and it was done in fifteen minutes … » Several calls in different laboratories cool him down:
« I was told that they weren’t doing it, or that there was no more room and that we had to go to Saint-Sever or to the parking lot of the Mathilde clinic in Rouen or to the Saint-Julien hospital. of Petit-Quevilly. » Saint-Sever is then saturated, Saint-Julien was only testing in the morning … So let’s go to Mathilde.
« There, I was told that, prescription or not, there was no priority. » Almost two and a half hours later, the tip of the nose after feeling a swab in his nostrils. For a good cause? Not even, rants the father:
« At best, I will have the results in … seven days ! I pointed out to the tester that everything we had just done was therefore of no use. What he confirmed ! »

Marie, she lives in the
Pays de Caux. A worker in the field of personal services, she wanted to do a preventive test when she returned from her vacation, before going to the homes of vulnerable people. The test was therefore carried out at the beginning of last week. He was told about a one week delay to get results, but yesterday still nothing.
« At the end of the week or next week », we told him in recent hours.

A long journey

Rouen, Guillaume cumulates the symptoms. Cough, fever, breathing difficulties, body aches …
« It could be nasopharyngitis, but the doctor wants me to be tested and therefore prescribed it ». He too expects to be a priority. But it will take him more than forty-eight hours to just do the PCR test:
« My doctor had told me that the Cèdre clinic, in Bois-Guillaume, could give the results in twenty-four hours. Except that it was only in the morning and I had missed the time slot … »

Then begins a feverish obstacle course.
« At the Mathilde clinic, they ran out of reagent, so no result for ten days, Guillaume points.
I went back to Le Cèdre on Wednesday morning. To 7 h 30, there was 250 meters in line ! The first had arrived at 4 h 40 ! AT 8 h, clinic staff handed out tickets. Those who did not have one were not tested. » Guillaume had his prescription; but he didn’t get a ticket. It was finally able to be tested yesterday after 4 p.m. (after more than two hours of waiting). And will only have results in seven to ten days. Minimum.

Far from the announcements made by the Regional Health Agency which assured, Tuesday in a press release, the
« implementation of enhanced prioritization of access to tests in the Normandy screening strategy » especially for people with a medical prescription.
« For these audiences, rapid care must be guaranteed, aiming for a result in less than 24 hours », continues the press release.

« They are very nice to the ARS, but how do you expect that we give results in twenty-four hours overnight with the delays that we have accumulated », laughs – yellow – a tester. Contacted, the ARS recognizes that the improvements will not be done in a snap. And is counting on the announced increases in regional screening capacities (in two stages, this week, and the week of September 28) to meet the objectives. In the meantime, there will be a bit of a wait …


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