A health defense council is being held this Wednesday morning, before new announcements Thursday afternoon. The Prime Minister will speak.
The government intends to stay the course it has set itself, namely to avoid a third confinement and especially the closure of schools. But one thing is certain, new measures will be announced tomorrow.
Beyond the “New Year’s effect”, the evaluation of which is not yet known, the English variant of Sars-Cov-2 – B.1.1.7 of its small name – is indeed the concern of the moment . A flash study carried out last week showed that it was detected in 1% of 100,000 PCR tests.
“We will not be able to block it, assures the President of the Scientific Council, but it must be slowed down”.
Conclusion, for its president Jean-François Delfraissy:
“We will have to take restrictive measures, that’s for sure”
A new council opinion is on the table for this morning’s meeting – not yet made public.
What measures could be announced?
The one that holds the cord is a generalization of the curfew at 6 p.m. (currently in force in 25 departments) to entire regions or even to the entire national territory.
There is therefore a priori no question, for the moment, of a new confinement. Unless it is only a postponement.
School at the heart of concerns
Among the cards reshuffled by the English variant, there is that of the situation in schools. The contagiousness of this new strain particularly affects the youngest and the positivity rates of the tests are not encouraging either.
From 6.4% in the general population, they climb to 8.5% in 10-19 year olds and 10% in under 10 year olds – even if the incidence rates in these age groups remain measured.
The Ministry of National Education is working on an xth strengthening of a health protocol, the scientific council recommends the closure of classes from the first case of Covid version English variant and the generalization of screening.
Towards the closure of the canteens?
While the study conducted by the Institut Pasteur highlighted the role of meals in contamination in December, one avenue would be the closure of school canteens.
It could even be associated with the elimination of outings and sports activities, where students do not wear the mask.
One way, perhaps, to “hold” until the February holidays by avoiding a closure of schools, an option which is not excluded by the main adviser to the executive, Professor Alain Pfizer.
Closure of # schools –@PrAlainFischer : “If at a given moment, it turns out that the circulation of #virus is such in children that they become really dangerous, it would have to be resolved ” # le79Inter pic.twitter.com/Ok2oP0M4Dp
– France Inter (@franceinter) January 12, 2021