The professionals had a little trouble believing it. They feared statistical bias, poor reporting of certain data. Now there is no room for doubt: in Paris, the peak of contaminations corresponding to the second epidemic wave has clearly passed. Day after day, the figures show a sharp drop in new cases of Covid-19, more massive than in the rest of the country. Recently, this spectacular decline has been accompanied by a slight decrease in the number of hospitalized patients, especially in intensive care. The number of deaths has not yet marked an inflection.
Calls to the SAMU, test results, quantity of viruses in wastewater, etc., the indicators converge. “They all show a very sharp drop, rejoices Renaud Piarroux, epidemiologist at the Pitié-Salpétrière hospital and author of The wave (CNRS ed.). In the figures, the decrease in the number of contaminations is undoubtedly a little amplified by the fact that the cases detected by the antigenic tests are not counted. But the movement remains important. “ Throughout Ile-de-France, “Viral circulation is less”, also observes the Regional Health Authority in its point published Wednesday, November 18.
Two months ago, Ile-de-France was preparing for the worst. At the end of the summer, Paris and Marseille were the two cities where the virus was circulating the most actively. In a region where the mixing of the population is intense, around a hyperdense capital, the health disaster was likely to be even more violent than in the spring, the government having delayed in taking strong measures, and confinement proving less strict than in March.
The reverse has happened. Paris certainly did not avoid the second wave. Between the low in June and mid-October, the number of people diagnosed positive in the past seven days skyrocketed from 6 per 100,000 to over 600 per 100,000. But then it plummeted, for return to 162 per 100,000 inhabitants at the last score, on November 14. The incidence rate has thus been divided practically by four in less than a month.
“The curfew was the decisive element”
The result ? Paris is now the least affected department in the Paris region, but also one of the fifteen least affected departments in France. The virus strikes more in Corrèze or in the Jura.
As for the hospital system, it is subjected to less tensions than expected. Instead of being overwhelmed and having to send patients to other regions, Paris hospitals have been able to accommodate patients from more difficult areas. At its maximum, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Paris did not exceed 330, half less than at the worst of the first wave. “If the improvement continues, Parisian hospitals will overcome this wave”, anticipates Anne Souyris, the deputy in charge of health at the City of Paris.
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