Paris which laughs, the Pas-de-Calais which weeps?
If the information has not been officially confirmed (the announcements go back to Jean Castex during his press conference this Thursday at 6 p.m.), several government sources assure that the Île-de-France will not be reconfigured on weekends. end.
Its eight departments are however part of the list of 20 territories placed "under enhanced surveillance" last week.
The Pas-de-Calais should suffer the opposite fate and be reconfigured, according to the same sources.
One or two other territories could possibly suffer the same fate.
On what grounds and on what indicators is this decision based?
Last Thursday, by announcing his list of 20 departments in the red, Jean Castex had advanced "a high level of incidence, around 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a share of greater than 50%, a hospital pressure close to the threshold criticism and, finally, a viral circulation which begins to accelerate seriously ”.
A very high incidence rate in Île-de-France
It is clear that the Île-de-France is largely in the nails on several of these criteria.
The incidence rate is over 250 in each of its eight departments, according to the latest data from Public Health France for the week of February 22 to 28.
It ranges from 267.1 in Yvelines to 405.5 in Seine-Saint-Denis, a level equivalent to that of Pas-de-Calais (406.2).
Concerning the evolution of viral circulation, the incidence rate increased in one week by 26.8% in Seine-Saint-Denis, by 16.3% on average in the eight departments of Ile-de-France and by 14.9% in the Pas-de-Calais.
The situation seems to calm down slightly since the increase is respectively "only" 2.8% on average in Île-de-France and 3.2% in Pas-de-Calais over the last four days alone.
But this semblance of calm is biased by the fact that the number of tests carried out has significantly decreased (-7% in one week in Île-de-France).
Looking for fewer positive cases may be part of the reason why fewer are found.
"The incidence can be biased by the profile of the people tested and by the number of tests, which clearly drops during the holidays", insists the epidemiologist Pascal Crepey, researcher at the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health (EHESP ) reindeer.
It is difficult to understand, however, why Île-de-France would be spared compared to Pas-de-Calais, if we are only based on these indicators of people tested positive.
"Pas-de-Calais is very high for the incidence rate but several Ile-de-France departments are close to 400 and the dynamic is very comparable there", protests the mayor of Touquet (Pas-de-Calais). Daniel Fasquelle, who denounces a "double standards".
Higher intensive care occupancy rate in Hauts-de-France
Could the difference in treatment be explained more by the hospital situation?
At the regional level, the intensive care occupancy rate (compared to the initial bed capacity before the pandemic) is 75% in Île-de-France but it has just exceeded 100% in Hauts-de-France. France.
In Pas-de-Calais, the number of patients treated in intensive care reached its peak in the second wave.
The situation seems quite close to the "critical threshold", to use the expression of Jean Castex, even if the daily admissions in intensive care have fallen slightly for a few days (going from 13 to 9 per day on average in a week).
Conversely, in Île-de-France, less than 1,000 patients are currently in intensive care, against nearly 1,150 at the peak of the second wave and more than 2,600 a year ago.
“But the other beds are occupied by other patients and they are not empty.
When we look at both the kinetics of the epidemic and the hospital capacities, we see that the situation is still very tense in Île-de-France and risks becoming even more so in the weeks to come.
Letting the epidemic run is potentially losing chances to other patients, ”warns epidemiologist Pascal Crepey, researcher at EHESP.
Anne Hidalgo's opposition
In reality, it all played out on other factors.
On the one hand, the government has always assured that it wants to focus on consultation with elected officials before making a decision.
In Paris, the first deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire had initially proposed confinement 7 days a week for three weeks while criticizing confinement only at weekends, judging that it would be "extremely restrictive and too inefficient on the health plan ”.
A few days later, Mayor Anne Hidalgo hammered home her fierce opposition to any confinement.
In principle, "we strongly take into consideration the reactions of local elected officials, which reflect the acceptability of a measure by the population," said a government source.
Reconfining Paris for three weeks
This is only a hypothesis
", defends the town hall
In Pas-de-Calais, the statements of the main local elected officials were rather in favor of confinement at weekends.
“But not all were applicants.
If we have found other means in the Paris region, why not do the same in Pas-de-Calais ”, asks Daniel Fasquelle, considering that he is“ perhaps too nice ”.
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In practice, confining a single department of Île-de-France could seem extremely complicated given the very strong links that unite them, in particular for economic activity and transport. As for confining the whole of the inner suburbs (nearly 7 million inhabitants) or the entire region (12 million inhabitants), this would have very serious psychological and economic consequences. Two other aspects that the government cannot neglect.