Covid-19, what you need to know this week: the trap

The deputies rejected an article of the health bill allowing the use of the health pass at the borders.


Faced with the resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, the government is betting on the responsibility of the French both in terms of wearing a mask and barrier gestures. Besides, could he go further? On Tuesday evening, the deputies rejected the second article of the health bill providing for the possibility of restoring a health pass at the borders after July 31, the date of the exit from the state of health emergency. It is now up to senators to examine the text while the Minister of Health has assured that he will work to restore this text in its entirety. Is this still necessary, when the peak of the epidemic could soon be reached and we are already seeing a slowdown in contamination in certain regions? This is to forget that new variants may still appear.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro

1. The trap

After a difficult session of questions to the government, the deputies examined the health bill on Tuesday. BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

It’s called a snub. During the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, the National Assembly gave the green light to a bill for monitoring and health security on the Covid-19 pandemic but partly emptied it of its substance. Indeed, article 2 which provides for the return of the health pass for extra-hexagonal trips was rejected at the end of the evening by 219 votes against 195, thanks to a combination of votes from the RN, LR and a majority of the left-wing alliance Nupes. The Macron camp then had a good time denouncing an alliance of oppositions. “And here we are!!! The extreme right and the extreme left unitedexclaimed Prisca Thevenot, MP for Hauts-de-Seine. For his part, the Minister of Health has chosen to continue the fight by defending in the Senate this article 2, according to him “fair, relevant“. This text containsonly protective measures at the borders, in the event of a serious, serious, viral threat“, rebuked Olivier Véran, the government spokesperson on Wednesday, while saying he was “confident” on the continuation of the parliamentary shuttle, and the possible restoration of the controversial provision in the Senate.

” READ ALSO – Covid-19: first text, first failure for the majority in the Assembly

Also addressed in the National Assembly through several amendments: the reintegration of non-vaccinated caregivers. It is not “on the agenda” recalled François Braun, nor “on the table” confirmed Olivier Véran to the chagrin of Nupes and RN. On the other hand, the Ministry of Education has chosen to anticipate the start of the school year and presented last Tuesday to the unions the new framework of the health protocol applicable to the school. Three levels are defined according to the epidemic context with a period of 10 days to move from one level to another.

2. Call to responsibility

The executive relies on the responsibility of the French to protect themselves from the virus.

The executive relies on the responsibility of the French to protect themselves from the virus. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

The mayor of Nice was also prevented in his anti-Covid policy. Last Friday, the administrative court, seized by four applicants, challenged its decree restoring the obligation to wear a mask in metropolitan transport, considering that no “compelling reason” justified this measure. Aware of the weariness of the French on health restrictions, the executive is betting on their responsibility while denying that it wants to avoid the discontent of the French in this way. “It’s not about popularity. We do not govern in a health crisis with popularity indicators”retorted Olivier Véran, questioned on Sunday during the “Grand Jury RTL-LCI-Le Figaro”.

In the meantime, masks, gels and vaccinations keep their place in the fight against the epidemic. “Based on current incidence data, we can consider that in a Paris metro train, at least two people are infected with Covid”, recalls Professor Philippe Amouyel. As for the vaccine, the Commission and the health agencies of the European Union have also been recommending since Monday a second booster dose to all those over 60. In France, the High Authority for Health recommends, in its opinion released on Wednesday, a fourth dose of vaccine for adults under 60 with comorbidities and for pregnant women from the first trimester of pregnancy.

” READ ALSO – The editorial of Figaro: “Resurgence of Covid-19, common sense rather than fear”

3. When is the peak?

Four Covid-positive Tour de France riders had to abandon the race.

Four Covid-positive Tour de France riders had to abandon the race. THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

There are unmistakable signs: purchases of self-tests have jumped in pharmacies, which are also having to deal with an upsurge in requests for antigenic tests and vaccines. And we are not talking about the Tour de France disrupted by the multiplication of Covid cases among the riders and their teams. The circulation of the virus is on the rise in France even if the experts have noted a slowdown for a few days. Is this a sign that we are approaching the peak of this seventh wave? It’s possible. It would even bebeing passed“, assured Emmanuel Macron yesterday during the interview of July 14. Is it worrying for the hospital? “We are both serene and worriedexplains to Figaro the pr Djillali Annane, head of the intensive care unit at Raymond-Poincaré hospital in Garches. Because if the doctors know how to manage the care of the sick, the human resources in the hospital are always as fragile, especially during the summer.

” READ ALSO – Covid-19: have we reached the epidemic peak of the 7th wave?

Finally, can the new variants still be a game-changer? More contagious but less pathogenic, the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants have so far not caused any congestion in the healthcare system. With a largely immunized population, we can assume that the Covid will become an endemic disease in the more or less long term. In the meantime, France crossed the threshold of 150,000 Covid deaths last Friday and INSEE noted a drop in life expectancy in Europe between 2019 and 2020.

The numbers to remember

  • 1184 patients in critical care (+26 since the day before)
  • 19.580 people hospitalized (+420 since the day before)
  • 127.642 new cases detected (-17.4% over seven days)
  • 104 deaths in 24 hours in hospital (150,414 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 13, 2022

4. 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) is always requested at the entrance to hospitals, retirement homes and establishments for the disabled. This obligation should end 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?

5. 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

6. 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 non-vaccinated people 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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