After containment, de-containment… and re-containment? As France reports more and more infections throughout the country and masks are now mandatory in closed places, the prospect of a second wave leads the French government to work on re-containment.
As May 11 was upon us, former Senior civil servant entrusted with de-containment Jean Castex already drafted an emergency domestic re-containment scheme. Now Prime Minister, and a week after appointing his new office, they were working on targeted re-containment. One of the major issues is to avoid implementing a national lockdown, especially because of the economic consequences it could lead to.
Interview on Monday July 20 by France info, health minister Olivier Véran said the government came up with 4 re-containment scenarios, from the least serious to general re-containment in the worst of cases. “We have a graduated plan: protecting fragile people in nursing homes, isolated and fragile people, elderly people and son on”, he says. So, to avoid the worst-case scenario, preventive measures are said to be implemented including possibility to get tested without a prescription or enjoy saliva tests. But what are the four scenarios and matching measures considered by the government?
The first case, the least serious, is the one some part of the country is currently in: the epidemic is under control, the population is being tested, clusters are tracked down and so are contact cases, suspicious and confirmed cases are isolated and barrier gestures shall be maintained.
The second scenario matches the resurgence of the epidemic on a local basis. It could happen because of critical clusters. As a response, the State plans local measures such as places where facemasks are mandatory. Yet these measures could go up to targeted re-containment that can be now decided by the local prefect.
The third scenario is the epidemic resurging more severely: indicators would show more alarming signs and it would be impossible to break contamination rules. This scenario would lead to stricter measures according to protocols fitted to the most fragile ones, to large cities and hospitals.
Last but not least, the fourth scenario is the most severe one: a general lockdown of the population, like France experienced between March and May would be implemented. The government intends to avoid the last two scenarios because of the huge impact it would have on an economic and social point of view.