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Covid-19, what you need to know this week: the return of border tests


As the number of cases explodes in China, many countries are imposing border restrictions. Hello, In this new year that begins, the Covid-19 has not finished talking about him. If the epidemiological situation in France is reassuring, this is far from being the case in China where since the abandonment of the zero Covid strategy, the virus is blazing. Should we fear the emergence of new variants? Difficult to say as the information remains fragmented. The WHO, moreover, pointed out on


In this new year that begins, the Covid-19 has not finished talking about him.

If the epidemiological situation in France is reassuring, this is far from being the case in China where since the abandonment of the zero Covid strategy, the virus is blazing.

Should we fear the emergence of new variants?

Difficult to say as the information remains fragmented.

The WHO, moreover, pointed out on Wednesday the lack of transparency of the Chinese authorities on the reality of the contaminations and the hospital situation.

In the meantime, many countries, including France, have decided to impose border restrictions for travelers from China.

In scattered order in Europe, because the Member States of the Union are struggling to agree on the obligation of a negative test on boarding.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Le Figaro

The return of border tests

Travelers from China must be tested at Incheon airport in South Korea.


Japan, the United States, Italy, Spain, Israel or France have decided to impose restrictions on travelers from China.

From this Thursday, passengers boarding for France from Chinese airports will have to present a negative test for more than 48 hours.

On the plane, the mask will again be compulsory and random tests will be done on arrival.

A measure authorized until January 31 according to the law relating to the end of the state of health emergency of July 30, 2022. Beyond that, it will no longer be possible to impose compulsory tests by decree.

In all, a dozen countries have decided in dispersed order to apply these restrictions, strongly condemned by Beijing, which did not rule out Tuesday taking “countermeasures” in retaliation.

On a European scale, on the other hand, the response to the Chinese epidemic outbreak is long overdue.

The Member States meeting on Wednesday failed to reach an agreement and remain at the stage of encouraging “to introduce, for all passengers departing from China, the obligation to carry out a negative Covid-19 test carried out no later than 48 hours" before departure.


“Covid-19: no reason to panic”

Worrying situation in China

Patients flock to the emergency room of a Shanghai hospital STAFF / REUTERS

If the whole world is trying to protect itself, it is because the Chinese situation is worrying.

Across the country, the virus has been surging since the end of the zero Covid strategy in early December.

According to the vice-president of one of Shanghai's main hospitals, "

the Covid-19 epidemic

may have affected 70% of the population

" of the Chinese megalopolis.

Because while the population was locked at home, nothing was done to strengthen the means to fight the epidemic, reports journalist Alice Hrait for

Le Figaro


Today, the poorly immunized and poorly vaccinated population is taking the full brunt of the wave of Covid, dangerously rocking an already fragile hospital system.

“We believe that the current figures released by China under-represent the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions, intensive care admissions and especially in terms of deaths”

, advanced Wednesday Michael Ryan, responsible for of the WHO responsible for the management of health emergencies.

And to point out the change in methodology in the referencing of deaths.

Abroad, the concern is all the greater since China has also stopped measuring the circulation of the disease.

"We do not know very well what are the dominant variants in China, as the data available on the sequencing of viruses are fragmented and limited"

, notes Antoine Flahault.

Should we fear the emergence of new, more dangerous variants?


It's too early to say

,” said the epidemiologist.


Marie Holzman: “Covid will be China’s Chernobyl”

Ironically, the worst variant the world is facing right now is probably XBB.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota.

But what if the “worst variant” was actually in the United States, as an American scientist recently pointed out?

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant is making its mark.

More contagious than BQ.1.1 responsible for the last wave of Covid in France, this recombinant variant (from two strains of the virus) does not seem more virulent but could cause more serious forms, due to the greater number of cases.

The American situation, by its transparency, does not require the implementation of tests at the borders, believe the experts.

Clear improvement in France

The number of positive tests is not decreasing in France.


In France, the situation is clearly improving.

The latest known virus circulation figures, before angry labs stopped reporting test results on Monday, were encouraging.

As of January 1, the average number of daily confirmed cases was down 50% over seven days.

Note, however, that the number of tests fell during the holidays.

At the hospital too, the indicators are green.

As of January 4, the average number per day of hospitalizations and admissions to critical care with Covid is down by nearly 26% and 17% respectively.

The numbers to remember

  • 19,019

    new confirmed cases per 24 hours on average over 7 days

  • 23,167

    people hospitalized (-7.3% in 7 days)

  • 1,389

    people in critical care (-6.3% in 7 days)

  • 106

    deaths per day on average in hospital (-8.6% in 7 days)

Source Public Health France as of January 1 and 4, 2023

The reflexes to keep

The virus is transmitted by droplets and aerosols.

The barrier gestures detailed by the Ministry of Health must be observed to protect themselves and others:

  • Wear the mask in closed and crowded places, especially for fragile people, with symptoms or contact cases.

  • Ventilate the rooms as often as possible, at least a few minutes every hour.

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hydroalcoholic gel.

  • Greet without shaking hands and stop hugging.

  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow.

  • Use single-use tissues.

What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease is most often manifested by cough, fever or feeling feverish, loss of smell and taste, fatigue.

If after a few days you have trouble breathing or are short of breath, you should contact 15. Symptoms are often milder with the Omicron variant, similar to those of a cold: sore throat, headache, runny nose.

In case of signs of the disease, the most important thing is to get tested.

The test, PCR or antigen, remains free for those who have not been vaccinated on medical prescription or after having been identified as a contact case by Health Insurance.

In the event of a positive result on a self-test, a confirmation PCR test is recommended.

While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself and wear a mask.

In the event that the test is positive,

isolation must last 7 days

from the first symptoms for vaccinated persons,

10 days

for unvaccinated people.

It can be broken on D+5 or D+7 respectively, if you have a negative test and you have had no symptoms for 48 hours.

Good to know, since March 21, 2022, contact cases no longer need to isolate themselves, vaccinated or not, but wearing a mask is recommended and teleworking is preferred as far as possible.


You have just learned that you are positive for Covid-19, what to do?


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-05

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