Tuesday, February 23, 2021

France is reconfiguring a department for two weekends: “We have to settle this as soon as possible so as not to condemn the summer season”


“The health situation is particularly worrying in the Alpes-Maritimes. (…) With the incidence rate, I recalled that in Nice there are 500 people who fall ill per day. So strong measures were needed. , I was committed to it “, commented in Villefranche-sur-Saône the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, who was in Nice on Saturday.

Feared since this visit by the inhabitants, but called for by some elected officials, the partial reconfinement was confirmed on Monday by the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes Bernard Gonzalez: the inhabitants of the communes of the coast of the Alpes-Maritimes extending from Théoule- sur-Mer in Menton, an area which brings together about 90% of the population of the department, will be confined the last two weekends of the school holidays (February 27-28 and March 6-7).

As during the first confinement a year ago, one-hour outings will be authorized, but within a radius of 5 km, with certification (doctors, pets, sport, walks).

Hospitals under pressure

Such a territorialized confinement measure, in force since February 5 in Mayotte, is a first since the start of the health crisis in metropolitan France. Claimed by some elected officials of Moselle, it had not been implemented in this department.

“If it is necessary, it must be done”, had anticipated before the announcements Pierre Mondoloni, 78 years old, evoking Monday morning a possible reconfinement the weekend. “It means that for a few days people are not going to go out, well, too bad”.

For the authorities, this turn of the screw is in particular justified by the pressure in the hospitals. Hospital services are “close to saturation”, underlined Romain Alexandre, the representative of the ARS: the incidence rate (588 per 100,000 inhabitants) in the department is “the highest in France” and the positivity rate is “in clear increase in all age groups except for those over 80”.

To deal with this, in addition to the partial re-containment, for 15 days from Tuesday, businesses of more than 5,000 m2, except pharmacies and food businesses, will be closed in the department, and the gauge for businesses will be lowered more of 400m2. Controls at the Italian border and at airports will also be stepped up.

Finally, the prefect has promised an “acceleration” of the vaccine campaign in the department, where some 4,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are to be received in the coming days.

Locally, the crisis “is a consequence of the attractiveness of our department and our friendly lifestyle”, argued the prefect, joining an analysis in particular advanced by the mayor LR of Nice Christian Estrosi, who said on Twitter “satisfied” with these new measures.

“We must settle this as soon as possible so as not to condemn the summer season, so we must tighten the screws”, for his part pleaded the president of the region Renaud Muselier, while the holidays have just started in zone B which are part of the Alpes-Maritimes and continue for C.

“At the right time”

For the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, it is however “fundamental to be able to take decisions at the right time when we see that there is a health situation which is under tension”. “The situation in the Alpes-Maritimes does not correspond today to the situation of the whole country”, recalled the minister during a visit to the hospital of Villefranche-sur-Saône.

“The health situation remains worrying across the country, it’s been four or five consecutive days that we have had a new increase in the circulation of the virus, but we are not at all at the situation in the Alpes-Maritimes”, he insisted.

Good news, on the vaccine side, the Sanofi laboratory has announced that it will produce the Covid-19 vaccine from its American competitor Johnson & Johnson in France from the third quarter of 2021.

The coordinator of the vaccination campaign in France Alain Fischer rejoiced Monday on LCI that “75% of residents in nursing homes have been vaccinated with a good acceptance rate”.

“By June, we will have finished vaccinating all vulnerable people, 17 to 20 million French people, in any case those who want,” he said.



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