November 30, 2021

Coronavirus: can France escape the 5th wave?

A threat taken seriously. While many European countries are severely affected by the fifth epidemic wave, France still seems relatively spared.

The European Union has indeed explained that the situation was “very worrying” in a dozen countries, such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Bulgaria. Ten other countries were categorized as “worrying”, like Germany and Austria. Reconfinements, generalization of teleworking … The governments of the Old Continent are therefore on the teeth to avoid a massive resumption of the epidemic, pushing France to redouble its efforts if it wants to avoid experiencing the same scenario very soon.

The time is not yet for such regulations in France, but the figures show that the epidemic is gradually regaining force. The number of positive cases has indeed been rising steadily since early November. The incidence rate, for example, has gone back above 100 for the first time in two months when the alert threshold is 50. In addition, hospitalizations in critical care have increased by 10% compared to last week (primarily for unvaccinated people).

Winter involved?

If it is still too early to speak of a real epidemic wave, like the first four, it is therefore obvious that the health situation is deteriorating in the country. “The circulation concerns everyone, whether it is the vaccinated or the unvaccinated”, explained on CNEWS the epidemiologist Martin Blachier, recalling that having received his two or three doses does not prevent falling ill, nor transmitting the virus, but protects against the more serious forms.

According to him, the degradation is primarily caused by the winter season, and should continue. The fault in particular with the habits of the French, who favor more and more closed and unventilated places, which favors the circulation of the virus. Ventilating living rooms well or respecting barrier gestures will therefore be particularly important at this time of the year when the cold sets in.

Reasons for hope

To defend itself, France relies on vigilance. The country has, unlike some of its neighbors, an arsenal of measures to fight upstream. Thus, 74% of French people have completed their vaccination schedule, which should limit the number of hospitalizations despite the number of patients on the rise, as confirmed by a bulletin published last week by Public Health France.

Added to this is the launch of the campaign for the injection of a third dose which will open for 50-64 year olds from December 1, with the aim of providing lasting protection against the disease. Other measures have recently come to strengthen the arsenal against the disease, namely the extension of the health pass until the summer of 2022, or the wearing of a mask in schools, again compulsory since Monday.

And the government does not wish to rule out any solution. His spokesperson Gabriel Attal explained on France 2 that he did not rule out recourse to confinement if necessary, although this scenario is not yet on the table. Hoping that the measures mentioned above will avoid getting there.