Faced with a slight improvement on the front of the Covid-19 epidemic, a gradual exit from the second confinement is being prepared. It remains to be seen what form it will take.
Emmanuel Macron is due to speak next week, ahead of the 1is December, the deadline for confinement, to discuss the stages of the coming months. “Work is underway on the evolution of the rules in the weeks and months to come with one objective: to provide us with an organization and a framework allowing the French to live as normally as possible, while keeping the epidemic under control “, explained the spokesperson of the government, Gabriel Attal, after the council of ministers.
Towards a “progressive” deconfinement
On the menu of the Defense Council this Wednesday, an equation from which many questions arise: how to loosen the grip without taking the risk of relaunching the circulation of the virus and being forced into a third confinement? Even if there are no immediate announcements, a source close to the executive already assures that “Deconfinement will be gradual”.
“We are not at all in deconfinement, we are even far from it. We are talking about a possible adaptation of the confinement from 1is December if the health situation allows it ”, said Gabriel Attal, highlighting the “Extreme tension in hospitals” during the report of the Council of Ministers.
Calling for “Do not give the feeling that the crisis is behind us”, he said that “We are still very far from having won the war against the virus”, and “We have to live with the constraints necessary to control it for a while”. “The president reminded us: to relax our efforts now is to take the risk of having done them for nothing”, he added, while “The first results and the first glimmers of hope are visible”.
Sports halls should be able to accommodate minors from 1is December and worship could also resume on that date, with health restrictions. But the question of the reopening of so-called “non-essential” businesses has not yet been decided: for the moment they must be satisfied with online sales and by appointment, and are demanding a resumption from November 27, the day of the gigantic commercial operation of “Black Friday”.
In letter posted on Twitter Wednesday, the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) asked the Prime Minister “Gradual reopening” non-food convenience stores, such as bookstores, florists, hairdressing salons and the clothing sector, “Who are able to apply a reinforced strict sanitary protocol and welcome the public again”.
The situation is even more difficult for bars and restaurants. For them, the government spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, only promised “Prospects at the beginning of December”, and they fear to remain closed until 2021. A disaster for these establishments but also for the supply chains such as those of poultry and foie gras.
“A significant increase in depressive states”
Even though the figure of 2 million confirmed cases since March has been exceeded, “The epidemic is slowing down”, confirmed Tuesday evening the director general of health, Jérôme Salomon. But the “Hospital pressure remains very strong”, with “An unprecedented number of 33,500 Covid patients” Monday, which fell slightly, to 33,170 on Tuesday.
Among these patients, more than 4,800 were in intensive care on Tuesday, for a total of patients in intensive care, all pathologies combined, over 8,000. The daily rate of hospital deaths does not weaken either, with 437 new deaths. recorded in twenty-four hours.
If he welcomed the slowdown in the epidemic, Mr. Salomon worried Tuesday evening about the consequences of the health crisis for mental health in the French population. We thus observe “A significant increase in depressive states”, which affected the double of people at the beginning of November compared to the end of September, from 10 to 21% within a representative sample of the population surveyed by Public Health France. The rise is “Even more marked among people in difficult financial situations, people with a history of psychological disorders, the inactive and young people”, noted the director general of health.
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