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The hope of reopening shops is reborn in France

If the epidemic peak of the 2nd wave of covid-19 has undoubtedly been crossed in France, the page of containment is not yet turned. Shops are hoping for a green light on Friday to reopen soon.

If the epidemic peak of the 2nd wave of covid-19 has undoubtedly been crossed in France, the page of containment is not yet turned. Shops are hoping for a green light on Friday to reopen soon.

(AFP) – “Even if the indicators remain at high levels, their observation suggests that the epidemic peak of the second wave has been crossed,” said Public Health France (SpF) in a press release accompanying its weekly epidemiological update of the Hexagon.

During the week of November 9 to 15 in France, all the indicators are down: confirmed cases of contamination (182,783 against 305,135 the previous week), the rate of positive results (16.2% against 19.7%), hospitalizations (17,390 against 19,940), admissions in intensive care (2,761 against 3,037), and, to a lesser extent, deaths (3,756 against 3,817 the previous one). But the Minister of Health Olivier Véran called for caution Thursday in the face of these encouraging figures, stressing that “epidemic pressure” had only returned to the level preceding the first curfews.

“We still have a significant circulation of the virus”, also notes, in an interview with World Jean-François Delfraissy, the president of the Scientific Council, who guides the choices of the government. According to him, the level of 5,000 contaminations recorded per day, set by Emmanuel Macron when he decreed the re-containment, will be reached “rather after Christmas, or even at the beginning of January”.

But with the arrival of vaccines, “I see the exit of the tunnel”, confides the immunologist, in a rare touch of optimism, while the death toll of patients with covid-19 still grows by 400 per day at hospital, and that of nursing homes has risen sharply since the beginning of November, from 11,651 to 14,530. In total, 47,127 Covid-19 patients have died in France since the start of the epidemic.

Isolation compulsory?

If “the confinement is not over,” as Olivier Véran reaffirmed Thursday, the government continues to work on its lighter version. The health restrictions of the 2nd wave have undermined the economic recovery and the mental health of the French population is deteriorating according to the indicators of Public Health France, which reported a 10% to 21% increase in depressive states between September and November.

Among the main challenges, before Christmas, the reopening of so-called “non-essential” shops, for which the shortfall could reach 4.4 billion euros for the month of November alone, and 10.8 billion if the shops remained closed throughout the month of December, according to a study Friday by credit insurer Euler Hermes. “We are on the right track” to consider this reopening “around December 1,” announced Prime Minister Jean Castex, visiting Croizon (Finistère).

A new meeting is scheduled for Friday afternoon in Bercy – at the end of which Emmanuel Macron will speak at 8 p.m. – to decide on a postponement from November 27 to December 4 of Black Friday, the gigantic promotional clearance sale from the United States – United, in order to avoid distortion of competition between physical stores and on the Internet. Major retailers and e-commerce giant Amazon have given the green light, but only if physical stores reopen by then. It remains to be seen whether all internet platforms will play the game and under what conditions the stores will be able to welcome their customers.

A vaccination campaign in the program

Other questions still need to be decided, before Emmanuel Macron’s announcements next week on a reduction in containment. A sign of the government’s caution, the Minister for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, warned that it was too early to say whether we will be able to travel by train at Christmas, while promising that the tickets taken today will be “Exchangeable and cancellable free of charge until the last day”.

The government must also get down to planning a vaccination campaign, while the ongoing trials give hope for its arrival from mid-December. He also wants to improve the strategy of screening and isolating infected people, after the failure of the triptych “test, trace, isolate” at the end of the first confinement and when the epidemic starts again at the end of the summer. .

According to government spokesman Gabriel Attal, compulsory isolation of covid-19 patients is “a track” which must be the subject of “democratic debate”. But “you have people, if you tell them: ‘you have an obligation to isolate yourself’, they will not be tested,” Prime Minister Jean Castex immediately warned, who brought together the party leaders on Friday evening and parliamentary groups.


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