Moselle facing an outbreak of variant cases

On January 14, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, was already in Metz to accompany the Prime Minister, Jean Castex. They had met local elected officials, very concerned about the multiplication of Covid-19 cases in the department. This had led the government to institute the anticipated curfew in Moselle from January 2. “Closing schools is the last of the measures”, then declared Mr. Castex. A yellow line that the government has managed not to cross so far.

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Less than a month later, will the situation in Metz lead him to resolve it? Friday, February 12, during an emergency consultation meeting at the Moselle prefecture, local elected officials asked him, by an overwhelming majority, to close the department’s schools, by bringing the holidays forward by one week, which were to start on February 20. “I will continue my consultations in Paris on this subject and will come back very quickly to elected officials to communicate our decisions to them”, replied the Minister. The department also has national test value.

As early as Thursday evening, during his weekly press briefing, Olivier Véran had qualified as“Disturbing” the health situation in Moselle. “More than 300 cases of mutations suggestive of South African and Brazilian variants have been identified in recent days in Moselle”, he explained. Much more than in other departments.

“Sudden increase in cases among 10-20 year olds”

For several days now, the incidence rate recorded in the metropolis of Metz and the rest of the department worries. To the point of pushing the prefect, Laurent Touvet, to make the wearing of a mask compulsory in public spaces throughout the department. At the start of the week, the 350 new cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants were exceeded, with a positivity rate of 8%, two points above the national figure. In question, the breakthrough of variants, much more contagious.

The first signals appeared at the very beginning of February, at the Rémilly nursing home, near Metz. Following the identification of 16 positive cases within the establishment, the SOS Seniors group, owner of this nursing home, ordered additional analyzes. On February 4, he informed families that the South African variant had been characterized. “Our partner laboratory had just been equipped with the equipment necessary for screening in order to identify the variants, remembers Geraldine Bucci, the spokesperson for the group. The variant may have been present for some time without being able to see it. » By discovering the information revealed by The Republican Lorrain, doctors and local elected officials are worried: if he is there, he is undoubtedly present more widely.

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