Paris | The prospect of new confinement is taking shape in France in the face of a second “brutal” wave of COVID-19 which could even be “stronger than the first”, alarms Jean-François Delfraissy, the president of the Scientific Council who guide the government.
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
“We had expected that there would be this second wave, but we ourselves are surprised by the brutality of what has been happening for 10 days,” he said on Monday on the air. RTL radio.
“The second wave will probably be stronger than the first” and “many of our fellow citizens have not yet realized what awaits us”, judged Mr. Delfraissy speaking of a “difficult situation, even critical” .
A new record was thus broken on Sunday with 52,000 positive cases recorded in 24 hours, and their real number could even turn “around 100,000 per day”, according to the professor.
The number of patients in intensive care continues to increase, exceeding 2,500, figures which had not been reached since May.
Mr. Delfraissy sees “two hypotheses” to try to stem this second wave.
The first is “to move towards a more massive curfew, both in its schedules, in its scope at the level of the national territory, and which can also be implemented at weekends”. If that is not enough, containment could then be considered.
The second hypothesis is “to go directly towards confinement, less hard than that of March”, which “would probably allow to keep a school activity and a certain number of economic activities”, with an increased use of teleworking.
During the first wave in the spring which killed 30,000 people, France had experienced a general containment of the population for two months. The total toll of the epidemic currently stands at 34,761 dead in the country.
Since mid-October, a curfew has been in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in many cities and regions. It was extended this weekend and now concerns 46 million French people, or two thirds of the population.
“A re-containment seems plausible, it has been done in Israel and Australia with great success”, also judged the epidemiologist Antoine Flahault on the television channel BFMTV.
“If we completely reconfine as we did in March, it is not -10% recession that we risk, it is a collapse of the economy”, however warned the president of the French employers Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux.
In the first wave, patients from badly affected areas were transferred to less affected areas to reduce the pressure a bit. But these transfers are more complicated to implement this time because the second wave affects the whole territory, warn specialists.