France “at the foot of the wall”: new local measures to contain the coronavirus are on the table

The government’s decision will be announced on Sunday evening or Monday, but one hypothesis is already holding the line, that of localized containment on weekends, which would be a first in metropolitan France.

The incidence rate is particularly high in the Nice metropolis, with more than 700 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, more than three times the national average (190), while around 10% of screening tests are positive (against 6% for the whole of France), in a context of the spread of the British variant, which is more contagious.

“The epidemic is out of control” in the department, “it means that the measures taken for a few weeks are not enough (…) if we want to avoid the overflow of hospitals”, explained Saturday evening on BFMTV Rémi Salomon , president of the medical commission of the AP-HP.

During a meeting Saturday evening with the prefect, the elected officials proposed five tracks, according to Alexandra Valetta-Ardisson, LREM deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes, questioned by France Inter: “the wearing of the mask generalized on the whole of the territory, the reinforcement of controls “, a tightening of” the gauge for shopping centers “,” a containment targeted on weekends and only on the urban area, namely the coast “and” the ban on entry into the department, except compelling motive. “

On the other hand, “we have said that we do not want a general reconfinement”, she added.

“The decision is almost stopped. We are moving towards a confinement on the weekend,” said LR MP Eric Ciotti in Nice-Matin, saying he wished that “the high country, which is less affected by the epidemic, be preserved “.

The putting under cover on Saturdays and Sundays of the coastal towns, from Menton to Théoule-sur-Mer, has the favor of the LR mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, to discourage the influx of tourists.

At the same time, “we do not deprive economic activity of turning for traders, for artisans,” he argues.

“The trend is not good”

However, this path is not unanimous among other mayors of the coast, who believe that the problem is above all Nice.

“The Nice territory is proving to be more contaminated than the rest of the department”, points out Jean Léonetti, LR mayor of Antibes, in Nice-Matin. This professional cardiologist rather calls for “larger endowments” in vaccine, “the only way to fight the pandemic”.

Local confinement, in force since February 5 in Mayotte, has so far been unprecedented in metropolitan France.

In Moselle, also faced with an outbreak of Covid linked in particular to the variant that appeared in South Africa, the Minister of Health had raised this possibility in mid-February, but it was not retained.

The situation in this border department of Germany, which today experiences 283 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, could push Angela Merkel’s government to classify this territory as a high-risk area, according to a German media group.

“I did not quite understand why the Moselle had not done more, because the risk is high of seeing this South African variant arrive” throughout the country, is surprised Rémi Salomon, evoking a very fragile situation in the North and in Ile-de-France. For him, “we are today at the foot of the wall” and a national reconfinement “will happen”.

Former Minister of Health Philippe Douste-Blazy also proposed in an interview with the Journal du dimanche “strict confinement of four weeks to (…) regain control of the epidemic”.

At the national level, “the trend is not good”, admitted Gabriel Attal to the Grand Jury RTL – LCI – Le Figaro, using the words of Olivier Véran on Saturday in Nice.

More than 22,300 new cases of contamination were recorded on Saturday, after 24,100 the day before and 21,200 the previous Saturday, and hospital pressure remains at a high level.

“The trend is unfortunately not to loosen the constraint,” added the government spokesperson, reiterating that the government’s objective is, as much as possible, to avoid a third lockdown.

On Friday, the Elysee Palace said it would give itself 8 to 10 days to decide whether the current constraints should be relaxed or tightened, according to majority parliamentarians, who participated in a video conference with the Presidency of the Republic.

Gabriel Attal also defended the vaccine strategy, assuring that “France is the EU country in which there have been the most” first injections of the vaccine and that the forthcoming authorization of new vaccines could represent “a light to the end of the tunnel “.

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