Emergency re-containment: the government's plan in case of second wave

Published by Julie M., Caroline J., Cécile D. · Published on 15 May 2020 at 15h38 · Updated on 16 May 2020 at 11h45
France has officially exited containment this May 11th, 2020. To be ready in case a second Covid-19 wave happens, Jean Castex – entrusted with deconfinement at the government – has proposed a re-containment plan. And prudence is required. The senior civil servant warns that "emergency re-containment should be anticipated" and implemented "if the number of positive cases per day was to double up in comparison with what it is today".

Deconfinement has started this May 11th, 2020. Yet, as Edouard Philippe reminded it in his televised addressed this May 7th, upholding barrier gestures remains very important. The government and experts fear a second Covid-19 contamination wave. If this scenario is real, Jean Castex – entrusted with deconfinement at the government – has a re-containment plan ready.

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 case of 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 nor 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".

But when will this re-containment plan be implemented? 

Jean Castex explains that if the situation was deteriorating in France, we should not wait until June 2nd, said to be the end of the first containment exit phase to take action! If it is necessary, re-containement will be implemented urgently. He says "Here, for us to locally reconfine, it would need the number of cases per day to double up in comparison with what it is today".

The government, and the French, wants to avoid a new containment. They remind that barrier gestures are still vital and people at risk should consider staying home after confinement is lifted is advised (but not mandatory).

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