"Mr. Minister, you are losing your sense of reality"!
It is with this angry tweet that reacted Wednesday, September 23 Benoît Payan, the first deputy mayor of Marseille, contesting the fact that the health situation in the Marseille city requires the total closure of bars and restaurants.
And the chosen one to brandish a curve supposed to prove that the first turn of the screw, ten days earlier, has already had a positive impact on Covid-19 contamination: between September 14 and September 18, the number of new cases has dropped in the Bouches-du-Rhône and he himself extended the downward curve with a beautiful red line.
What exactly do the Marseille figures say and how to interpret them?
Decryption in the light of data from the city's hospitals.
What is a three-day plateau?
On Wednesday, Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, actually spoke of a slight improvement, speaking of a "plateau that lasted three days", but believing that this was not enough.
“What the minister wanted to say is that in terms of resuscitation, we had for a few days as many outings as in patients.
For example, this was the case yesterday: three patients entered, three others left ”, decrypts a spokesperson for the AP-HM (Public Assistance - Hospitals of Marseille), but, she insists , " the situation is tense ".
Thursday at noon, in the four hospitals dependent on the AP-HM, there were only five available resuscitation beds and 36 hospital beds left for Covid patients ... "We currently have 212 hospitalized Covid patients, including 45 in intensive care, it is more than at the end of confinement: on May 7, we had 103 people hospitalized, including 36 in intensive care, ”she adds.
It is this worrying state of affairs at the hospital level, but also the maintenance at a level much higher than that of the national average of the number of new positive cases reported to the population (incidence rate) which tipped the balance.
Why several digits for the "R"?
Michèle Rubirola, the mayor of Marseille, assured for her part that the effective R - the reproduction rate of the virus, the number of people infected by a patient - has fallen below 1 for four days in those under 60 years old.
The reproduction rate of the virus remains high among those over 60, at 1.23, "but it was 1.5 and even 1.7 before," said the councilor.
A figure that the regional health agency does not want to confirm or deny, specifying only that this R was extracted "at the regional level" by Public Health France, the national public health agency, and therefore goes beyond the borders of the only city of Marseille.
New measures against Covid-19: Hidalgo, Rubirola ... the elected officials go to war
Could we postpone the decision?
“Postponing the decision for 10 days, as the elected officials of Marseille claim, would be nonsense in terms of health, reacts the infectious disease specialist Anne-Claude Crémieux of the Saint-Louis hospital in Paris.
Because beware of fluctuations in numbers, from one day to the next, they can be very significant and it is only after 14 days that a real trend emerges!
The doctor therefore considers the strategy followed to be “relevant”.
“Everything must be done to avoid saturation of hospitals.
In winter, they always experience an influx of pathologies, this is the case, for example, in cardiology.
To avoid engorgement, there is therefore no other choice than to further curb the circulation of the virus, ”insists the practitioner.
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What other possible strategy?
Marseille virologist Jean-Michel Claverie is not of this opinion at all.
For this great connoisseur of the world of viruses and hospital practitioner in public health (but not a doctor), this new turn of the screw borders on “hysteria”.
"The government overreacts, he believes, it is not by running after a virus that we can curb an epidemic, estimates the researcher, it is by focusing on patients in serious or mortal danger, such as people. elderly.
Because in reality, PCR tests do not say much about the state of contagiousness of people, it is the big flaw!