Covid: Olivier Véran hopes to be able to “prevent” a new epidemic wave

Published by Manon C. · Published on 1 February 2021 at 21h01
In an interview with JDD, French Health Minister Olivier Véran explains the reasons that encouraged the government not to put the country back into lockdown.

As the French were expecting pending lockdown – according to many headlines – on Friday January 29, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced new restrictions but no new lockdown nor earlier curfew. A decision addressed by Olivier Véran this Sunday January 31 in an interview with JDD.

The Health Minister explains the decision not to put the country back into lockdownhas been made on Friday during the Defense Council. The incidence – that is to say the new daily case toll – slightly increased over the past four days. This is still the case today”. And even though a new epidemic wave is to be feared soon, in view of the likely dominance of the UK variant in several areas in the country, “maybe we will be able to prevent it” Véran hopes, underlining “a slight decelerationin the contamination toll.

Other reasons put forward by the Health Minister, “traces of the virus in wastewater – indirect signal – are decreasing in Île-de-France. Several weeks past its generalization, it could mean the maximal impact of curfew is showing” while results on an investigation on the UK variantshow its spreading more – by 50% every week – but less intensely than abroad where 70% to 100% increases have been noticed” the minister says.

Therefore, “danger we are facing is possible, even likely. But it is not certain” Véran adds. “The slight deceleration in contaminations enables us to observe – for a few days – what will happen. There is every reason to believe that a new wave may come because of the variant; but maybe we will be able to prevent it thank to measures we have decided early on, and the French comply with. The idea is to buy time and limit damage”.

But careful though, “if the incidence was to increase again, we would not hesitate. We never said we will not put the country back into lockdown in the next couple of weeks if need be” the Health Minister warns already.

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