Emmanuel Macron estimated Monday that it was still necessary to hold “four to six weeks”, at a time when a new turn of the screw is looming in twenty departments threatened by the rise of the Covid-19 epidemic in order to avoid a possible re-containment national.
“We have to hold out for a few more weeks, four to six weeks,” said the Head of State without further clarification during a visit to Stains (Seine-Saint-Denis). He was responding to a young person who asked that the curfew be pushed back from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., AFP noted.
The Elysée then clarified that this sentence referred to the progression of the vaccination of the elderly, which will lighten the horizon by relieving hospital pressure, but without prejudging possible health restrictions.
The executive is banking on the rise of vaccination, especially among the most vulnerable and caregivers. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that in mid-May, “all people over 50 will have been offered a first injection” against Covid-19.
So far, only nearly three million people have received at least one dose, including 1.561 million two doses.
Things could accelerate since the High Authority of Health (HAS) must “update” Tuesday its opinion on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the over 65 years, who are deprived for the moment while hundreds of thousands doses have not yet been used.
A study from the University of Edinburgh, published last week, tends to confirm the effectiveness of the British-Swedish vaccine, even in those over 80 years old.
The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, is the guest of the 8 p.m. news from France 2 on Monday evening, at the end of the weekly vaccine meeting at the Elysee Palace.
– Key week –
France, faced with a sustained epidemic recovery, is entering a pivotal week in the fight against Covid-19, as the government tries to avoid generalized containment, relying on vaccination and territorialized measures to contain the spread of the virus.
“I heard you, we are doing everything we can”, replied Emmanuel Macron to a senior sold to be vaccinated in a center in Bondy, who told him: “Do not re-fin us”.
It was the head of state’s first visit to a vaccination center since the start of the campaign. He then left for an improvised walk in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, to meet the inhabitants, without warning the press.
Consultations also took place Monday afternoon between prefects and local elected officials from twenty departments, particularly in Île-de-France and around large metropolises (Lyon, Marseille, Lille) who fear a new explosion of contamination with the spread of variants. Local confinements on weekends, as in Nice and Dunkirk, could be ordered at the end of these consultations.
At the end of one of these meetings, the PS mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, reiterated her opposition to a containment of the capital at the weekend, advocating on the contrary access to public spaces for the population and asking that the vaccination rate be quadrupled.
She did not mention “the hypothesis” of a three-week reconfinement mentioned last Thursday by Emmanuel Grégoire, his first deputy, quickly castigated by the government, especially in that he would not have taken into account the small crowned.
– outdoor lessons –
To cope with the epidemic, Ms. Hidalgo also proposed “to teachers to give lessons with open windows, taking advantage in particular of the return of sunny days” and “outside whenever possible”.
In the Drôme, wearing a mask is now mandatory in all town centers and town centers of the department, said the prefecture.
Emmanuel Macron is also due to hold a meeting this week with members of the government to prepare for the establishment of a “health pass”, which will not be a “vaccination passport”, with a view to the reopening of cultural places and restaurants .
At the European level, where the idea of a vaccine pass must be debated, France managed on Sunday to keep its border with Germany open. But a negative test of less than 48 hours will now be required from Tuesday from the Moselle, a situation which concerns 16,000 French workers.
Too slow? The first effects of vaccination on hospital pressure and deaths are expected within a month, experts say.
Sunday, in Paris, 3,600 police and gendarmes tried to regulate the crowds on the banks of the Seine. In Toulouse, the prefecture has prohibited access to the banks of the Garonne.
Nearly 3,500 people with the coronavirus were treated on Sunday in intensive care units, an indicator in slow progression, as well as the number of cases, which rose from 140,000 to 150,000 in one week.