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4,974 patients in sheave, the peak of the second wave is exceeded

THE ESSENTIALHow long will the executive be able to hold out? In France, the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now a reality, and the Covid-19 progressed almost everywhere in March, pushed by the English variant. The peak of the second wave was thus exceeded on Monday, with 4,974 patients in intensive care. The coming week promises to be decisive, and a defense council must be held on Wednesday to decide on a possible tightening of the measures.

Investigations to try to determine the origins of the epidemic are continuing. According to the joint study by WHO and Chinese experts, transmission to humans by an intermediate animal is a “probable to very probable” hypothesis.

The main information to remember

  • 4,974 patients in sheave, the peak of the second wave is exceeded
  • 362 Covid patients have died in hospital in the last 24 hours
  • A defense council is due to be held on Wednesday
  • More and more voices are calling for school closures

4,974 patients in sheave, the peak of the second wave exceeded

There are currently 4,974 Covid-19 patients in intensive care in France, more than the peak of the second wave of the epidemic, according to daily figures published Monday by the public health agency France. The peak of the second wave was reached on November 16, with 4,903 Covid patients in shifts. At the peak of the first wave, in the spring of 2020, that number was around 7,000. In addition to the only resuscitation services, which receive the most serious cases, 28,322 Covid patients are currently hospitalized in the country, according to Public Health France.

In 24 hours, 360 Covid patients died in hospital, bringing the total to 94,956 deaths since the start of the epidemic.

The executive under pressure, a defense council Wednesday

In France, alerts are increasing in the face of the continuing epidemic outbreak. Forty-one medical directors of the Paris Hospitals crisis evoke a “situation of disaster medicine”, and say they are preparing to have to “sort out patients in order to save as many lives as possible”, in a column published by the Sunday newspaper. “In the next fortnight”, say the signatories, “we already know that our support capacities will be exceeded”.

A defense council is to be held on Wednesday to decide on a possible tightening of current measures (curfew, closure of certain businesses). “For the coming days, we will look at the effectiveness of the braking measures and if necessary we will take those which are necessary”, said President Emmanuel Macron at the JDD.

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The head of state indeed assured Sunday that nothing had been decided for the time being. Which means that all the leads are still on the table, going from a hard re-containment, to the status quo. One thing is certain, however: there will be no relief from the current measures.

New health protocol enters into force in schools

Concern is growing in schools, with an increase in contamination. From Monday, in the 19 departments subject to the increased restrictions, a case of Covid-19 in a classroom will result in its closure. But this measure is complicated to apply for school directors, as well as for parents. More information in this article.

The list of shops authorized to open “will not change” because of the “deterioration of the health situation”, although it is not “perfect”, said Monday on France Info the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Mayor. “It would not be understandable that at a time when the health situation is deteriorating – when it is difficult for caregivers, for hospital staff – to send a message to open other businesses”, explained the minister.

PS deputies ask for a commission of inquiry into the vaccine campaign

Socialist deputies on Monday demanded the creation of a commission of inquiry “on the preparation and management of the vaccine campaign”, while the “first race against time against the virus and its variants was lost” according to them.

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“As early as January, we alerted the Prime Minister to the need to engage in a real ‘race against time’ in the light of epidemic projections”, they write to the President of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand (LREM) , in a letter of which AFP had a copy. Three months later, the political group led by Valérie Rabault believes that “we have not been able to vaccinate quickly enough, massive enough, to protect the greatest possible number of our fellow citizens before the arrival of the third wave” .

Origin of the coronavirus: an “extremely unlikely” laboratory incident

The joint study by WHO and Chinese experts concluded that transmission to humans from an intermediate animal is a “likely to very likely” hypothesis, while a laboratory incident remains “extremely unlikely”.

According to the final version of the report, of which AFP obtained a copy, the specialists, who according to some did not have enough leeway to work freely during their four-week stay in China, judged that “in view of the literature on the role of farm animals as intermediate hosts for emerging diseases, it is necessary to carry out further investigations including a greater geographical extent “.

Relief from confinement in England

Meetings and outdoor sports have been authorized since Monday in England, where the second phase of progressive deconfinement contrasts with the progression of the epidemic elsewhere in Europe, especially in France where the medical world is increasing the alarm signals. Groups of up to six people or from two different households are now allowed to meet outdoors, and sports enthusiasts can resume their practice outdoors.

The most bereaved country in Europe with more than 126,500 dead, the United Kingdom launched in December in a vaccination race to get out of a containment devastating for its economy: some 30 million first doses had been administered Sunday, almost 60% of the adult population.

Over 2.7 million dead

The pandemic has killed at least 2.77 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to an AFP report from official sources on Sunday at 10:00 GMT. The United States is the most bereaved country with 549,306 dead, ahead of Brazil (312,206), Mexico (201,429), India (161,552) and the United Kingdom (126,573).

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