fear of the second wave in France, 3,310 new cases in 24 hours

Wearing the mask extended to the Champs-Elysées, call for doctors to impose it in business, pilgrimage to Lourdes under surveillance: initiatives are increasing to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 in France.

“As a doctor, I think the situation is very worrying, as a citizen, I am afraid, I am not sure that we will find the world before,” Professor Xavier Lescure said on Saturday on BFMTV , specialist in infectious diseases at Bichat hospital (Paris).

The doctor fears a “second wave much longer, with more impact on the economic, cultural, global”, while the United Kingdom has just ordered 14 days of isolation for travelers arriving from France.

One indicator is particularly worrying. The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise: 3,310 in 24 hours, according to figures posted on Saturday evening by Public Health France. This record since May, the month of deconfinement, is partly an effect of the massive screening underway, but not only since the positivity rate in the population is increasing regularly.

This trend is leading to an increase in the preventive measures taken by the authorities. Even if for the moment the number of daily deaths is far from the dark hours (less than 30 per day since mid-July, more than 30,400 in total since the start of the epidemic) and that the situation in intensive care remains stable (376 patients according to Public Health France).

The obligation to wear a mask outdoors extends daily. Since Saturday morning, part of the Champs-Elysées, the Louvre district and that of the Batignolles, in Paris, are now concerned. These areas were not included so far, while some streets in the capital have been subject to this practice since Monday morning.

On the Champs-Elysées, deprived of tourists, the not yet known measure divides onlookers. “In closed places, I do not say but in the street it is ridiculous”, estimates Olivier Robbé, out for a walk with his girlfriend, both unmasked, refusing to “live in fear”.

“It’s still an avenue frequented by a lot of people,” remarks on the other hand Emelyne Rodrigues de Jesus, a student from Rennes who came for the weekend. “It should be made compulsory throughout Paris,” she pleads.

– “We made a first bet” –

A measure that the authorities are considering, moreover.

“We made a first bet, that of sticking to dense areas; if that does not work, we (will extend this obligation) throughout Paris,” said Anne Souyris, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of Public health, interviewed on BFMTV.

Paris has been classified in red since Friday, like Bouches-du-Rhône, a department in which the circulation of the virus is active, where the obligation to wear a mask has also been extended in Marseille to new districts in the center and in several cities tourism.

In Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées), the celebrations of the Assumption were turned upside down. Access to the places of this world-renowned pilgrimage has been limited to 10,000 people – instead of the usual 25,000 – the mask is compulsory and many patients have given up making the trip. Those arriving by medical trains, often elderly and in fragile health and in search of a miraculous cure, will be absent this year. “It is heartbreaking not to welcome them”, laments to AFP Vincent Cabanac, director of the National Pilgrimage.

But outdoor public spaces are not the only ones at the center of attention. Appeals from the medical world follow one another in favor of the mask in certain closed places frequented in a professional setting or not.

This is the case of the French High Council for Public Health (HCSP) which advocates its “systematic” wearing in “all closed public and private collective places”.

The conclusions of the HCSP released this weekend stem from a study of the publications “describing the contaminations which have occurred in closed public spaces (restaurant, buses, cruise ships, choir rehearsals, etc.) and certain professional circles (slaughterhouses, etc.) .) “.

– “Encourage teleworking” –

“It is urgent to make the wearing of masks compulsory in all confined spaces, in all offices, in all classrooms and lecture halls and also to unambiguously encourage teleworking, distance lessons and the reorganization of classes with fewer staff “, also write in a column published Friday by Liberation about twenty professors and doctors of medicine.

“The virus does not think, does not move, does not jump,” said the Directorate General of Health in its daily report Friday. “It is we who move around, who come into contact with others, who sometimes slack off in terms of prevention. There is no inevitability.”

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