Known for his outspokenness and his loud verb, Professor Eric Caumes calls on the government to change its strategy in the fight against Covid-19, "before going into the wall". The head of the infectious diseases department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, tackles the policy of tests for all and asks for a quarantine for travelers from the countries most at risk.
In nineteen departments, there are more than ten contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants. What does that mean ?
PR ERIC CAUMES. That the virus is circulating in more and more places. Nineteen departments is huge! This figure does not even include the Overseas Territories, which means that it is badly started. Among them are the Rhône, the Gard, the Alpes-Maritimes… Probably the holidays have favored the spread of the coronavirus in tourist areas. Unfortunately, the authorities are no longer able to control certain clusters. It's gonna blow up in a lot of places at the same time.
In Mayenne, the number of positive cases continues to climb. The massive screening policy is therefore not sufficient?
Probably they are not going fast enough to move up the chains of contamination. You should know that when a case is identified, you have to identify and test your entourage, what are called "contact cases", in three days, otherwise the epidemic escapes you. This is surely what is happening. At this rate, the authorities will have no other choice than to confine Mayenne, or at least the cities where there are the most clusters. The problem is that we always run after the epidemic instead of anticipating. This virus is obviously too smart for Europeans, with the exception of the Germans.
Is this the start of a second wave?
It bothers me to use that term at the moment. We see that hospitals are slowly starting to fill up. For the first time, the flow is reversed in the intensive care services of Ile-de-France where there are more entries than exits. In one month, we went from 0 to 3 admissions to 5 to 10 per day, especially in the north of the region, where the precariousness is more important. If it continues, yes, we will go towards a second wave. What will be its amplitude? That will be the whole stake.
Newsletter - Most of the newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to enable you to receive our news and commercial offers. Learn more
Despite the prevention messages, contamination is increasing especially among young people aged 20 to 30. What is the solution ?
It is a delicate problem. We will not be able to impose the mask on them everywhere and forbid them to gather, especially in the middle of summer. It may not be politically correct, but I think more and more that they should be allowed to contaminate each other, provided that they do not see their parents and grandparents. Otherwise, young people will be a reservoir of contamination and we will end up with an unmanageable epidemic. Let's not stigmatize them, let's tell them to respect the elders. By letting them contaminate themselves, they will participate in collective immunity and it will be more important at the start of the school year, in schools and universities, even if this will have consequences. Young people can also have severe forms ...
Mask, social distances, freezing… The same messages are repeated every day and yet the epidemic is starting again. What is wrong?
We don't go fast enough to test and we spread too thinly. Today, you can get tested without a prescription. The result: healthy people clutter up the labs to the detriment of the sick and contact cases, who sometimes wait 48 hours. However, they should be a priority! In addition, instead of imposing masks in public space, indoor weddings should be banned, it is common sense. Finally, instead of testing travelers from high-risk countries, they should be quarantined. Today, Morocco and Mexico do not even appear on this list, it is ridiculous. If this continues, we are going straight into the wall.