Jean Castex could announce new restrictions today at 6 p.m.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, in Bordeaux on February 19, 2021. – AGENCE-POOL / SIPA / SIPA

The government’s message this week is clear: The situation on the front of the spread of the coronavirus is not good. The Prime Minister therefore chose to go to the front line this Thursday to announce a possible turn of the screw of health measures. He will do so at a press conference at 6 p.m. By coming in person in front of the cameras, Jean Castex gives the sign that the situation is worrying again. When new measures are not considered, it is usually the Minister of Health who is responsible for expressing himself on a Covid-19 point.

Authorities spent the day preparing the French for further restrictions on Wednesday. The situation in the fight against Covid-19 “is deteriorating” and “is very worrying in a dozen departments”, declared the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, at the end of the Council of Ministers. This degradation “requires rapid and strong measures”, he said. To convey the message of the announcements to come, he at the same time indicated the holding of the press conference of the Prime Minister.

Dunkirk after Nice

According to Gabriel Attal, in certain territories where the situation has deteriorated markedly, “rapid and strong measures” are required “in the face of the imminent risks before us”. A first measure also came on Wednesday. After Nice, Dunkirk, hit by an “alarming” upsurge in the Covid-19 epidemic, will in turn be confined on weekends.

Still in this communication strategy, during his visit to the northern sub-prefecture, Olivier Véran also insisted on the fact that “the epidemic situation is deteriorating in our country”. The Minister of Health especially deplored that “the number of diagnoses is now increasing day by day”. “We erased in one week the two consecutive weeks of decline that we had recorded so far.”

Departments under close surveillance

It remains to be seen for which part of France the Prime Minister will announce more drastic measures. To get a first idea while waiting for 6 p.m., the daily Free noon lists the “departments under close surveillance which have the highest incidence rates in France”.

These are the Alpes-Maritimes with 592 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Bouches-du-Rhône (333 cases), Pas-de-Calais (349), Var (314), Seine-Saint-Denis ( 314), Moselle (312), Paris (310), Nord (301), Val-de-Marne (297), Somme (295), Seine-et-Marne (280), Val-d’Oise (275), Essonne (275) and Oise (262). Outside France, the department of Mayotte obtains a very bad record: an incidence rate of 846 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

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