Faced with a slight improvement, the government is considering the post

The government is studying possible easing of containment, while France records a slight improvement on the front of the Covid-19 epidemic, whose number of confirmed cases has exceeded the symbolic bar of two million.

“We will make the announcements as soon as we have stalled the decisions” but “it is necessary that the incidence rates continue to be oriented downwards, that the intensive care services are less saturated”, declared the Prime Minister Jean Castex during a hearing at the National Assembly.

The announcements should take place next week, according to government spokesman Gabriel Attal, while calls are increasing, in particular for the reopening of small businesses before December 1, a deadline set by Emmanuel Macron to review, or not, the terms of the confinement.

Professional organizations of traders brandish the specter of thousands of bankruptcies in a sector battered for two years by repeated crises, between “yellow vests”, strikes and first confinement.

During the majority breakfast on Tuesday, Mr. Castex did not rule out such a reopening from November 27 – date of “Black Friday” and the usual start of the end-of-year races – if the health situation allows it, according to participants. An option also pushed by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire.

But earlier Tuesday, his Health counterpart assured his side that he did not have “elements which suggest that we could reopen them on the 27th”. Because for Olivier Véran, if the country has “started” to observe a “decrease in the epidemic (…) that does not mean that we have conquered the virus or that the epidemic has ended”.

“Your efforts are paying off, above all we must not stop them, above all we must not change course,” insisted the minister.

France also passed the symbolic milestone of two million confirmed cases since the start of the epidemic on Tuesday, with 2,036,755 confirmed cases, for nearly 60 million tests carried out since March, according to the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon. That is 45,552 more cases in 24 hours (the figures for the start of the week are often high due to weekend catch-ups).

And even if the number of new contaminations has been decreasing in recent days, hospital pressure remains strong with “an unmatched number of 33,500 hospitalized Covid patients”, insisted Mr. Salomon, including 4,854 in intensive care. The death toll is at least 46,273 in hospitals and nursing homes.

In some hospitals, the situation remains very tense. “We have been working again in + over-regime + for a month and a half”, says a resuscitator in a hospital in the Paris region, who is also worried about the deprogramming of surgical operations.

– Recovery and sport

Faced with the health crisis, the government must also deal with the economic crisis and an explosion of poverty.

The National Assembly adopted the 2021 draft budget at first reading, with a recovery plan of 100 billion euros to deal with a crisis that the re-containment is expected to further aggravate. The recession is expected to reach 9% to 10% over the whole of 2020, according to the latest estimates from INSEE.

Professional and amateur sport, another sector hit hard, has for its part benefited from a big boost, with nearly 400 million aid in total announced during a long videoconference between Emmanuel Macron, Jean Castex, the ministers concerned and sports stakeholders.

The president particularly wished for a reopening of clubs from December for children and adolescents and announced the launch in 2021 of a “sport pass” to help young people and people with disabilities to practice, in particular by paying membership. at a club.

– Vaccination campaign –

Regarding the end of year celebrations, the government is avoiding any prognosis. But the SNCF hopes to learn more “at the end of November or the very beginning of December” to prepare its TGVs for the Christmas holidays, said its CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou. Florists will be able to sell trees from Friday outdoors.

The government is also looking into the issue of vaccination, after the announcement by the American laboratories Pfizer and German BioNTech and then by the American biotechnology company Moderna that their vaccines are more than 90% effective.

“We are preparing a vaccination campaign to be ready when a vaccine is validated by European and national health authorities,” said Gabriel Attal, agreeing to the possibility of a campaign at the start of the year.

We are working “in terms of logistics (…) to be able to start vaccination at the beginning of 2021” “if the vaccine is effective and safe”, added Olivier Véran.

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