Like a neat exit for a final lap. For, no doubt, the last Council of Ministers, the government led by Jean Castex announced, on Wednesday, the end of the wearing of compulsory masks in transport, one of the last restrictions which weighed on the population to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. . “The epidemic situation is improving. (…) The number of new daily diagnoses is decreasing and we consider that it is no longer appropriate to maintain this obligation to wear a mask in public transport, from Monday May 16,” said the Minister of Health, Olivier Veran.
The decline in the Covid epidemic continues since 40,299 new contaminations have been recorded over the last 24 hours, 16% less than last week. Hospitalizations are down with 20,152, or nearly 2,000 patients admitted less than seven days ago. In addition, 1,329 are still in critical care, a figure again down from recent weeks.
All of these indicators reassure the president of the Covid-19 group at the National Academy of Medicine, Yves Buisson for whom “everything seems to be going in the right direction. Nothing is worrying about the breakthrough of the variants which remain in the minority. indices are favourable. An optimism shared by Antoine Flahault, also an epidemiologist, which he extends to a situation which “is improving throughout Western Europe”. From there to having a summer free of any wave of Covid-19?
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New strategy for the summer
“We now know that summer is a favorable period for reducing the transmission of the virus, replies Yves Buisson. The public authorities have undoubtedly anticipated this reality which should occur. Last year, after a wave of contamination in the spring, the summer had been placed under the sign of the decline in cases. Beyond the improving health situation, this summer 2022 is above all an illustration of a change in the epidemic management policy. Until then, the principle that regulated the fight against the coronavirus was: I wear a mask to protect others.
Faced with the decline in respect for barrier gestures and measures to wear a mask compulsory in transport, the government has changed gear. From now on, the mask is recommended, we wear it to protect ourselves. This development must lead to a change of use, recalls Yves Buisson: “Since the issue is new, you must now favor the FFP2 mask when wearing a mask is recommended to you”. People suffering from immunosuppression, non-vaccinated people and overweight people are primarily concerned.
If the indicators seem to turn green, there is no question of believing in a summer of 2022 without Covid for health professionals. “The pandemic is still raging today in several places around the world. First of all in China, which is in the grip of a merciless fight against the Omicron variant that we have experienced in recent months in Europe”, recalls Antoine Flahault. “We must remain vigilant. No one can say, the Covid is dead. One variant can supplant another and relaunch a peak”, abounds Yves Buisson.
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While vaccination has been very effective in slowing the epidemic, follow-up to the recall campaign open to all people over 60 will now be a determining factor in a potential epidemic rebound. The removal of the mask in transport should also have an immediate impact on the figures which have been in freefall for the past few weeks. Elements to scrutinize which inspire Yves Buisson with the sporting metaphor: “You should never celebrate victory until the referee has signaled the end of the match.”
Detours from France
The Time.news of Jean-Laurent Cassely
Sylvain Fort’s Time.news