Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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Nevers hospital is sounding the alarm

The Pierre Bérégovoy hospital in Nevers (Nièvre) is facing a real third wave of the epidemic. Saturated, it suffers the full brunt of the increase in the epidemic. Doctor El Hadi Djerad is worried.

On Wednesday March 24, Gabriel Attal, government spokesperson, announced that the Nièvre as well as the Rhône and Aube should go under reinforced braking measures. Indeed, in recent weeks, the epidemic situation in Nièvre has been worrying. The incidence rate doubled in two weeks: from 146 at the start of the month to 329 on March 20. The alert threshold, set at 250 per 100,000 inhabitants, has been greatly exceeded. We met doctor Mohamed El Hadi DJERAD at the Pierre Beregovoy hospital in Nevers (Nièvre).

  • What is the current situation at the hospital center?

We have had an occupancy rate of 100% for almost a month. We have extended our capabilities as much as possible. All units are open and in demand. Our resources are 16 beds and we are already at saturation point. We are in a crisis situation which is already forcing us to transfer patients. We have two transfer modes: intra-departments and extra-departments. Fortunately, the modes of intra-departmental transfer are the patients who recover. They arrive at seven days of hospitalization with a negative PCR test or at 14 days of hospitalization. If their condition improves, they go out to other structures. This therefore saves us places to welcome patients.

We have almost a 60 to 65% rate of British variant in our patients.

Doctor Mohamed El Hadi DJERAD

  • What is the role of the British variant in this phenomenon?

It is a variant which is essential. We have almost a 60 to 65% rate of British variant among our patients. The risk of transmission of this variant is very high and unfortunately the clinical pictures are very severe. This means that the patient’s hospital stay should be extended in this case.

At a certain point, we have the impression that we cannot see the end of the tunnel.

Doctor Mohamed El Hadi DJERAD

  • Have you returned to a situation which is comparable to that of the first confinement? Did you get past this situation?

By analogy with the first wave, there is a fairly rapid increase in the incidence rate, which will at a certain point lead to an equally rapid drop. This third wave is more serious and more serious. The increase in the incidence rate is fairly gradual. It’s a suffocating, exponential wave. Even if it is extended in time, it is ascending. At a certain point, we have the impression that we cannot see the end of the tunnel. The number of patients is increasing. The means that were used for the first wave in order to reduce this pressure on the hospital are already exhausted. This third wave, while not too brutal at first, is impressive. It is overwhelming us. It easily exceeds our means, our capacities.

  • In your opinion, how do you explain the rapid explosion in incidence rates in the Nièvre?

It is very delicate. It is a conjunction of many factors. We must surely have a little more hindsight and more serious epidemiological and scientific studies to advance hypotheses. However, we can see that there is a little relaxation with barrier gestures for example. But Nevers is not Marseille or Paris. It is not a dense metropolis. People are quite distant, we do not have a great social promiscuity. We are still in a semi-rural environment. Despite that, we still have the increased incidence. We are trying to understand what are the contributing factors.

  • Is there an urgent need to take severe restrictive measures for the Nièvre?
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On the scientific and medical level, I think that strict measures of distancing, and barrier gestures are to be applied to optimize the reduction of this incidence. We also have hope with vaccination. That’s why we asked and agreed to have a vaccination center at the hospital. We are trying to make caregivers more and more aware of this because the vaccination rate is only 51% for them. We asked that this same vaccination center be open to our patients.

Interview by Olivier Feniet and Loup Krikorian.

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