Covid-19, what you need to know this week: border control?

A bill maintaining a health security system will be debated in the National Assembly on July 11.


The state of health emergency introduced in March 2020 and extended twice ends on July 31. France is not yet finished with the epidemic, the seventh wave of which is hitting the country today. The government therefore intends to keep some weapons against the virus: extend health monitoring through the collection of data and keep the possibility of imposing a health pass at the borders, a measure considered derisory by some. A bill will be debated next week in the National Assembly. And if the government still does not plan to reinstate the compulsory wearing of masks, local elected officials have the freedom to do so. In the metropolis of Nice, the mask will be required in public transport from next Monday. Finally, the last tool in the fight against the epidemic: the second vaccination booster or fourth dose to avoid serious forms and protect the most fragile.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro.

1. Prolong the fight

Guest of TF1’s 8 p.m., Elisabeth Borne recalled that she was not considering a national measure requiring the wearing of a mask. EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

Sanitary pass. Faced with the seventh wave of Covid, the government is trying to keep tools available to fight the epidemic. While the state of health emergency is due to end on July 31, a bill “temporarily maintaining a monitoring and health safety system in the fight against Covid-19was the subject of the first debates on Tuesday in the Law Commission, before his arrival in the Hemicycle on July 11. It only includes two articles: one allows the Si-dep and Si-vac systems to monitor the epidemic to be extended by collecting the personal data of patients affected by the virus, the second offers the government the possibility of reinstate travel restrictions abroad. A health pass, validated by a complete vaccination schedule, an up-to-date Covid-19 recovery certificate or a negative test result, could thus be claimed at the borders during the summer. But is such a measure useful when the virus is already present on the territory? “The Covid is not an import or export disease, it develops very well with us without outside help“Comments Benjamin Davido, infectious disease specialist at Garches hospital. On the other hand, for Professor Philippe Amouyel, establishing a health pass at the borders would make it possible to “delay the import of a new variant from abroad“. A tool to combine with others: vaccine, mask and test.

” READ ALSO – Travel: in these countries, Covid-19 insurance is compulsory in 2022

Mask. Has the obligation to wear a mask in transport been abandoned too quickly? This is what Patrick Pelloux said on Europe 1 on Wednesday. For the president of the Association of Emergency Physicians of France, ending this requirement was “a mistake“. This decision was made in a moment “of euphoriaby the former Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, during the legislative campaign, pointed out the doctor who also calls for the reintegration of unvaccinated caregivers. The government decided to stay at the recommendation stage. Elisabeth Borne recalled on TF1 that she did not plan to “national measure of obligationof wearing a mask. But locally it is possible: the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, announced on Wednesday that he had issued an order, “with other mayors of the metropolis“, to make the mask compulsory again in metropolitan transport from next Monday. Abroad, it is compulsory on public transport in Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Austria.

” READ ALSO – Covid-19: “Current measures cannot curb the different waves”

2. Where is the epidemic?

Contaminations have passed the bar of 100,000 daily cases on a sliding average over seven days.

Contaminations have passed the bar of 100,000 daily cases on a sliding average over seven days. Le Figaro/FigData

Hospitalizations linked to Covid will continue to rise “in the coming days“, according to new projections published Thursday by researchers at the Institut Pasteur. As for the peak of the epidemic, its date is still uncertain. Yesterday, more than 160,000 contaminations were counted in 24 hours. The 7-day average rose to 127,250 cases recorded daily from 123,261 the day before. Simon Cauchemez, head of the modeling teams, however, displays a certain optimism. “The growth rates of hospitalizations and the number of cases are decreasing in certain regions, and in particular in Île-de-France”, emphasizes the scientist to the Figaro. “The last two waves were stopped without going through new constraintshe adds. We are no longer in a context where the number of cases is growing exponentially without encountering a limit. A significant portion of the population is immune. We know that immunity decreases over time, but there is not a total loss of the entire population.

” READ ALSO – Covid-19: the latest figures

The numbers to remember

  • 1035 patients in critical care (+8 since the day before)
  • 17.719 people hospitalized (+223 since the day before)
  • 161.265 new cases detected (+20.9% over seven days)
  • 86 deaths in 24 hours in hospital (149,943 dead since the start of the epidemic in hospitals and nursing homes)
  • 53.6 million people have a complete vaccination schedule (79% of the population)
  • 40.3 million had a booster dose (59% of pop.)

Source: Public Health France as of July 7, 2022

” READ ALSO – Bertille Bayart: “France victim of a (very) long Covid”

3. Second booster, new vaccines

We now know that the protection conferred by RNA vaccines declines quite quickly, but we are not sure if this is related to technology or if it is more deeply related to the very nature of coronaviruses which would induce an immune response shorter in time.

Odile Launay, infectious disease specialist and hospital practitioner at Cochin Hospital.

Faced with the epidemic, the government is calling on the French to update their vaccination schedule with a new booster dose. But who are the people affected by the fourth dose? Le Figaro takes stock of all special cases according to age groups. The effectiveness of vaccines against new variants legitimately raises questions. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna laboratories have successfully tested products against the historic Wuhan strain but also against the Omicron BA.1 variant. However, they are less effective against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. What to do then? Market vaccines against Omicron in the fall or wait and adapt them to new variants? The European Medicines Agency has yet to decide. According to infectious disease specialist Odile Launay, “boostering the Omicron spike will elicit a much better immune response than the current booster“. As for the recall with the vaccine developed by GSK-Sanofi that she studied, she detects a “fairly clear interest“. “The Sanofi-GSK vaccine containing spikes of the Beta variant allows a better rise in the level of neutralizing antibodies regardless of the variant considered“, declares to the Figaro the signatory of a study carried out by the AP-HP and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

4. China still partially confined

In China, testing is part of everyday life.

In China, testing is part of everyday life. STR / AFP

In China several million people are still confined. The big city of Xi’an will close all its restaurants, bars, places of worship and karaoke for a week, authorities said on Tuesday. In Shanghai, where new Covid cases have been reported, residents fear restrictions will return five weeks after a two-month lockdown was lifted.

5. Mask and pass

Since March 14, the health restrictions linked to the epidemic have been mostly abandoned.

The mask is no longer mandatory in transport but it is strongly recommended in places of high traffic for positive people, especially for contact cases at risk, symptomatic people and health professionals.

The sanitary pass (vaccine, negative test, certificate of recovery) is always requested at the entrance to hospitals, retirement homes and establishments for the disabled. It is required when crossing borders for travel to/from France.

” READ ALSO – Covid-19: in which places is the health pass still compulsory?

6. The reflexes to keep

The virus is transmitted by droplets and aerosols. The barrier gestures detailed by the Ministry of Health must be observed to protect themselves and others:

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use single-use tissues
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Air the rooms as often as possible, at least a few minutes every hour
  • Greet without shaking hands and stop kissing

7. What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease is most often manifested by cough, fever or feeling feverish, loss of smell and taste, fatigue. If after a few days, you have trouble breathing or are out of breath, you should contact 15. The symptoms would be lighter with the Omicron variant, similar to those of a cold: sore throat, headache, runny nasal.

” READ ALSO – Covid-19: what should you do when you are a “contact case”?

In case of signs of the disease, the most important thing is to get tested. The test, PCR or antigen, remains free for those who have not been vaccinated on medical prescription or after having been identified as a contact case by Health Insurance. In the event of a positive result on a self-test, a confirmation PCR test is recommended. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself and wear a mask. If the test is positive, isolation must last 7 days from the first symptoms for vaccinated persons, 10 days for unvaccinated people. It can be broken on D+5 or D+7 respectively, if you have a negative test and you have had no symptoms for 48 hours. Good to know, since March 21, 2022, contact cases no longer need to isolate themselves, vaccinated or not.

” READ ALSO – You have just learned that you are positive for Covid-19, what should you do?

See you next week.


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