All signs of a worsening of the Covid-19 epidemic are present including the increase in the number of deaths, the French public health department was concerned on Friday. In addition, saliva tests can now be used, but only in people with symptoms.
The circulation of the virus among the elderly, the number of “clusters” and now an even number of deaths: “all indicators” of a worsening of the Covid-19 epidemic are present, warns Friday 18 September, Public Health France (SpF).
“For the first time since the containment has been lifted, we see an increase in the number of deaths for Covid-19”, with a doubling to 265 deaths, after 129 the previous week, the health service emphasizes in its latest weekly update.
“These are deaths that are observed both at the hospital level and in nursing homes,” said Sophie Vaux, an epidemiologist at SpF, during an online press briefing.
The indicators for the hospital epidemic, which began to rise again in two months, continued to deteriorate last week, with “an increase in emergency room visits for suspected Covid-19 (+ 50%), news hospital stays (+ 45%) and intensive care units (+ 48%” ) “.
“These increases support the need to protect the most vulnerable” and show that “the adoption of all preventive measures is important”, emphasizes SpF.
Tightening of restrictions
The head of the Alpes-Maritimes announced on Friday that “gatherings of more than ten people in parks, gardens, beaches and on the quays in the city are now banned”. Nice drinking facilities must be closed at 12.30, he added, while withdrawal and alcohol consumption in public areas will be banned after 20.00. So far limited to 5,000 people, large gatherings will not be able to exceed a thousand participants.
Similar measures will soon take effect in Lyon. In Paris and Ile-de-France, private gatherings of ten people are not prohibited but are not recommended.
“A large number of epidemic outbreaks originate in the family or the friendly environment. It is therefore up to everyone to protect their loved ones by reconsidering the organization of private gatherings, as soon as they include more than ten participants,” it said. joint press release, the Regional Health Agency (ARS) in Ile-de-France, the Regional Prefecture and the Paris Police Headquarters.
Green light for use of saliva test
In addition, the Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) issued a positive opinion on Friday on the use of saliva tests to detect infections with the new coronavirus, but only in people with symptoms.
Saliva tests can detect the presence of genetic material from coronavirus from a simple saliva sample. This is easier, faster and less uncomfortable than the current reference test (RT-PCR), which requires a long stick to be inserted deep into the person’s nose.
The public authorities hope that the arrival of saliva tests will reduce the time it takes for tests, which are currently too long.