Technology Why stopping the epidemic will take much more than...

Why stopping the epidemic will take much more than “15 days”

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It will take weeks, perhaps even months, to bring the number of new patients to zero. Without preventing new waves from coming back.

March 14 at midnight, closure of non-essential public places. March 16, closing of schools, colleges, high schools, universities. 17 March, limitation of travel throughout the territory. The examples of China and Italy have shown it: with an enemy as formidable and devious as this new coronavirus, you have to strike hard. After procrastinating for too long, the government has finally taken the measure of the situation by discovering the projections of scientists, Thursday, March 12, with a number of deaths that could potentially exceed 300,000 in France (in the most pessimistic scenarios and in l lack of such measures), according to information from the newspaper The world. Faced with this threat, the country is now under cover.

This confinement was announced for a period of “15 days at least” by Emmanuel Macron in his speech on Monday, March 16. But this period seems very short in view of the dynamics of the epidemic. This is fueled on the one hand by the contagiousness of the virus, which is transmitted very easily since an infected person currently infects between 2 and 3. And, on the other hand, by the time taken for symptoms to appear, which are very long (11 days for 97% of infected people, according to the New England Journal of Medicine), making contagious people more difficult to isolate. A formidable cocktail because of this fact, the evolution of the number of new patients and deaths registered every day will continue to grow exponentially, and this despite the implementation of containment measures.

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