Emergency re-containment: the government's plan for the second wave of the epidemic

Published by Alexandre G., Julie M. · Published on 31 October 2020 at 17h25
As the second Covid-19 epidemic wave is hitting France and the rest of the world, Jean Castex – then entrusted with deconfinement at the government – proposed a re-containment plan. And prudence is required. The one who became Prime Minister warned that "emergency re-containment should be anticipated". Today, this scenario seems bound to happen. What is the strategy of the French government?

From likely threat to harsh reality, emergency national re-containment is more and more likely to happen. As data shared by Santé Publique France are heading more and more towards re-containment, France is about to back out until May 11, when it first exited lockdown initiated in March. We are now waiting for Emmanuel Macron's green light, expected to address the people this Wednesday October 28 at 8 p.m.

Two months later, as France is facing skyrocketting contaminations, and that more and more Spanish cities are under new lockdown, we are wondering what France will do. Local, general, generation-based... Everything is possible. As a matter of fact, today, the hypothesis is no longer one, and most French medias are saying it is bound to happen. But what is the executive's emergency plan about?

With this in mind, a local-based re-containment plan has been set up by the government that experienced a shiffle. Jean Castex - now Prime Minister - was known so far as "Mister Deconfinement". If the targeted plan that could be implemented in the event a dramatic increase of the epidemic on a local basis happens is not known yet, prior to containment exit on May 11, 2020, he imagined an emergency re-containment plan. He was then State Senior Civil Servant.

Tweet reads: “On the matter of possible local re-containment: ‘As for departments in red, if the circulation of COVID19 is intense, we could set up measures fit to the circumstances. We’ve worked on a re-containment plan’ Jean Castex”.

In the event of a relapse then, Jean Castex has worked on a re-containment plan as asked by Edouard Philippe: “I asked Mr. Jean Castex to come up with a very concrete strategy by associating all players (…) His definitive report has been validated and released in a matter of days” the Prime Minister explained.

In this 68-page report shared this May 11th, Jean Castex announces it: "emergency re-containment should be anticipated". "In case, on a short-term basis, there is no vaccine nor cure, the French population remains vulnerable to a resumption of the epidemic" the senior civil servant says. "The possible reversibility of the measures should be offered and the eventuality of an emergency re-containment should stay in people's mind and be anticipated by the public authorities" he says.

Among the leads he told about, Jean Castex asks for a very "gradual disarmament" of the ICU beds in hospitals. If France is to face a resumption of the infections, reopening these beds should be made "very quickly (in a 24, 48 or 72-hour period depending on beds)". Another lead: "special care will be taken to human ressources in a context the medical staff is  worn out, especially in the regions the most affected by the crisis".

Last but not least, "Mister deconfinement" reminds the necessity to "plan social and economic help schemes like the ones set up during confinement" without forgetting to "better anticipate psycho-social risks of confinement, known better toay". Jean Castex explained that if need be, another lockdown could be implemented in emergency. The government, and the French, yet wants to avoid a new containment. 

Practical information