"I will not confine a country if I have doses in the fridge!"
The little sentence, released by Emmanuel Macron during the Defense Council on Wednesday, set the tone.
As expected, of the twenty departments placed in enhanced vigilance, only one, Pas-de-Calais, will lower the curtain these coming Saturdays and Sundays, joining the coastal municipalities of the Alpes-Maritimes and Dunkirk.
The others, including those in the Ile-de-France region, escape the confinement of the weekend.
VIDEO. Covid-19: re-containment and new restrictions ... the announcements of Jean Castex
Covid-19: re-containment and new restrictions ... the announcements of Jean Castex
Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed this during his press conference on Thursday evening.
As he confirmed how much the executive put on the vaccination campaign, which "first and foremost (...) will allow us to get out of this tunnel".
Its sluggish launch, like its unfolding, aroused much criticism.
But, this is one of the weapons on which the executive intends to rely for, according to a close friend of the president, "that confinement is only the last of the solutions".
This specter hovered over the consultations carried out in the departments placed in vigilance (joined this Thursday by the Hautes-Alpes, Aisne and Aube).
But, advance Castex, "the observed evolutions do not justify at this stage" to operate such a turn of screw.
Except in Pas-de-Calais, therefore… It is one of the most affected areas, with 406 infected people per 100,000 inhabitants, a marked increase and well above the national average - already very high - at 221.
“I do not dispute the confinement but there is a health inconsistency.
The incidence in Seine-Saint-Denis is the same as ours (
Editor's note: 405
) and is not confined!
We are in medical absurdity, “annoys the mayor (LR) of Le Touquet, Daniel Fasquelle.
“This is explained by the percentage of the number of intensive care beds occupied.
It is 95% in Pas-de-Calais, around 75% in Paris, ”notes epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola.
But the professor creaks, believing that “the government waits to be up against the wall to act.
This is the height of stupidity ”.
In the territories under vigilance, the arsenal is however supplemented by the extension of the wearing of the mask in all the urban zones.
The prefects are "invited (…) to prohibit or regulate the access to certain very frequented sites during the weekends" (Castex, again).
As for shopping centers of more than 10,000 m2, they will be closed - to the chagrin of their representatives.
All this, accompanied by recommendations to limit "social contact" and travel.
As for areas where the virus circulates less, Jean Castex does not give them for the time being any prospect of “easing”.
"The situation is getting worse every day"
Representative of the doctors of the hospitals of Paris, Rémi Salomon remains dumbfounded: “It is the meetings inside that must be limited!
We need more teleworking, having a canteen outside when the weather permits… ”Because if the situation is not“ catastrophic ”, concedes the professor, it is“ very tense and getting worse every day ”.
"The consequence is that we will deprogram non-Covid care and create weaknesses in many patients", he concludes, even if the doctor hears that strict confinement or the weekend would be difficult to accept for population.
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Especially, if it is a question of putting in place "preventive confinement", we hammer within the government.
“Since Emmanuel Macron decided not to tighten the screws in February, he can no longer go back.
Especially since it does not flare up ”, judges a familiar of the executive.
Acceptability was the backdrop for the consultations.
Many elected officials, especially Ile-de-France residents, had warned that "strict measures are no longer socially, economically and psychologically acceptable" testifies LREM senator from Paris, Julien Bargeton.
Health crisis: why Macron makes an appointment in "four to six weeks"
“Confinement on weekends was no.
However, the situation did not seem to us to require a forceful passage ”, we say in the entourage of the Prime Minister.
At the Elysee Palace, we hammer home: “We have explained from the start doing everything to avoid confinement because that has an educational, social, psychological, economic cost.
When we project this locally, containment can only be done if the analysis of the data leads to it and there is a local consensus.
Anticipating criticism from those who reproach the executive for "not going any further", Jean Castex insists: this is "a heavy measure".
Especially since the 6 p.m. curfew is still in effect.
For two months now.