Covid-19, what you need to know this week: the health law finally passed

The deputies and senators adopted the revised text of the health monitoring and security bill.


A few days before a new major summer migration, parliamentarians have finally agreed on the provisions of the new health law. If the end of the exceptional health crisis management regime is well recorded for July 31, two tools remain at the disposal of the government: health monitoring and border control in the event of the appearance of threatening variants. The reintegration of unvaccinated caregivers is refused by the executive. There is another effective solution to combat the disease: the antiviral Paxlovid. But too complex to prescribe, it is underused, doctors regret. Finally, the investigation into the origin of Covid continues after the publication of two studies which again point to the Wuhan market as the focus of the first contaminations.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro.

1. The health law finally passed

A negative test may be requested on boarding in the event of the appearance of a variant “likely to constitute a serious health threat”. SARAH MEYSSONNIER / REUTERS

Health security. The bill “Monitoring and health security in the fight against Covid-19” was finally adopted Tuesday in Parliament after being hotly discussed and challenged in the National Assembly, reworked in the Senate and then dubbed into a joint joint committee (CMP ). The final text repeals the exceptional crisis management regime. The executive can no longer put in place a vaccination pass, curfew or confinement without the prior agreement of Parliament. The health pass can no longer be requested in health establishments after July 31. Two devices remain available to the government:

  • The Si-Dep and Contact Covid data files whose existence is extended until June 2023 for the first, January 2023 for the second.
  • The possibility of imposing the presentation of a negative test at the borders, but only in the event of saturation of hospitals in the Overseas Territories or the appearance of a new threatening variant abroad. The vaccination or recovery certificate will not be taken into account.

” READ ALSO – Health law: what changes for travel

Unvaccinated caregivers. The bill also paves the way for the reinstatement of unvaccinated caregivers. But the executive has already expressed its refusal. “The Academy of Medicine, the Scientific Council and the High Authority for Health have a convergent opinion (…) it is negative” and “we follow the advice of scientists“, announced last Friday the Minister of Health François Braun while promising to meet the trade union organizations to “see how we plan to get out of it maybe in a few months“. In the meantime, what has become of the suspended caregivers? From 15,000 last fall, they would be only 3,600 according to the French Hospital Federation (FHF). Disappointed by the opinion of the High Authority for Health in favor of the obligation to vaccinate against Covid for caregivers, many of them were forced to turn the page not without sadness, “a heartbreaker», and many «empty passagesas they entrust to the Figaro. Others keep the hope of working again in the public hospital.

” READ ALSO – Hospital: the Covid-19 crisis accelerated the closure of beds in 2020

2. Where is the epidemic?

France. The epidemic rebound of Covid-19 continues to ebb in France. Yesterday, Wednesday, there were 20,662 people hospitalized, including 1,253 patients in intensive care units.

The numbers to remember

  • 1253 patients in critical care (-64 since the day before)
  • 20.662 people hospitalized (+262 since the day before)
  • 58.638 new cases detected (-34.8% over seven days)
  • 103 deaths in 24 hours in hospital (151,782 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)
  • 40.4 million had a booster dose (60% of pop.)

Source: Public Health France as of July 27, 2022

Sars-CoV-2 is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Sars-CoV-2 is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Infographic Le Figaro

United States. The Covid will have been more deadly across the Atlantic in 2021 than in 2020. With 415,000 deaths, the virus is the third cause of death in the United States for the second consecutive year behind cancer and cardiovascular disease according to data published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In 2022, the pace slows down sharply. About 167,000 Americans have died from Covid since the start of the year, when they were 220,000 over the same period in 2021. However, it takes a little more hindsight to quantify the repercussions on demography. The Covid has often only accelerated predictable deaths, leaving the possibility of seeing a rebalancing established in the coming years.

” READ ALSO – Covid: taste and smell remain permanently affected in 5% of patients, according to a study

3. The underused Paxlovid

US President Joe Biden with Covid was released from isolation yesterday after receiving Paxlovid antiviral treatment.

US President Joe Biden with Covid was released from isolation yesterday after receiving Paxlovid antiviral treatment. JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS

Covid pill. Although its effectiveness is proven, the antiviral drug Paxlovid remains very little used six months after its authorization. However, it reduces the risk of a severe form by 87.8% in patients with comorbidities or immunosuppression. In the general opinion of health professionals, the main obstacle to its generalization lies in its complexity of prescription. “Things must have changed in the fall. With the BA.5, we have seen very fragile, vulnerable and elderly people return to the hospital. We must be able to do better, and I hope that we will take advantage of the months of August and September to look into the question.“, indicates Professor Denis Malvy, head of the infectiology department of the Bordeaux University Hospital, member of the Scientific Council. In the United States where treatment is widely deployed, President Joe Biden, 79, recently stricken with Covid, was able to benefit from the antiviral and can now come out of isolation after a negative test.

Nasal vaccine. A lot of hope is placed in the nasal vaccine capable of blocking the transmission of Covid. Its arrival is however not for now despite the efforts of a dozen laboratories currently working on it. Problem of funding, regulatory obstacles, scientists ask the authorities to strengthen their efforts to accelerate the development of this promising solution.

4. The Wuhan market, the first source of contamination

The Wuhan market is indeed the source of the first Sars-CoV-2 contaminations according to two recent studies.

The Wuhan market is indeed the source of the first Sars-CoV-2 contaminations according to two recent studies. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

China. The Wuhan market returns to the center of suspicions about the origin of the Covid. While the track of a leak from the laboratory located in the same city had been revived last year, two studies published in the journal Science conclude that the Covid-19 pandemic started well on the Chinese city market and thus point to a very probable animal origin of the virus. The researchers showed that the first cases identified were indeed concentrated around this market. And if the animal which would have served as an intermediary between the bats, carriers of coronavirus, and the human has not been identified, the scientists underline that it is important to understand where the animals sold on the Wuhan market, in order to minimize future risks. These two studies are something to scientific inquiryon the origins of the pandemic but not definitive proof, the WHO said on Wednesday, specifying that “all assumptions“remained for the moment”on the tableand that the investigation should continue despite China’s reluctance.

” READ ALSO – The “zero Covid” worsens the real estate crisis in China

5. Mask and pass

Since March 14, 2022, health restrictions related to the epidemic have been mostly abandoned.

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

The sanitary pass (vaccine, negative test, certificate of recovery) will soon no longer be required at the entrance to hospitals, retirement homes and establishments for the disabled. This obligation ends with the end of the state of health emergency on July 31, 2022.

” 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?

Have a nice summer everyone.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *