Covid: the epidemic is withdrawing in Île-de-France, but stable in the other regions

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 10 April 2021 at 12h26
After weeks of restrictions, it is time to first assess the effectiveness of the “curbing measures” decided by the executive. With incidence rates dropping since March 31 in Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France, it seems the third wave of Covid-19 has peaked, even though the hospital pressure does not lower, especially in intensive care units. Cautious, doctors and observers would rather not tell about the possibility of a better controlled pandemic by mid-May.

How effective are the “curbing measures” or the third lockdown currently on in France? Instated since March 20 in Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France – the two hardest-hit regions – additional restrictions are expected to weaken the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in France.

So far, even though attentive epidemiologists and observers are tempted to affirmatively respond to the benefits of these measures ruled in by the executive, they would rather remain cautious. No one can truly address the control of the epidemic by mid-May – as French President Macron promised on the night of his address. Since March 31, the trend of the spread of Covid-19 in France has inversed with an incidence rate that moved from 691.93 (as of April 1) new weekly cases for 100,000 inhabitants to 553.39 as of April 5, that is to say right after Easter weekend.

Moreover, Santé Publique France suggests the curbing measures are starting to pay off, what could rationally explain this slight decrease. “The less intense viral spread […] could match the benefits of the strengthened restrictions made in these regions from March 20”, the agency explains in their epidemiologic assessment as of April 8. In Hauts-de-France, the same decrease has been noticed starting March 31.

Yet, the health situation remains extremely fragile. In all other regions, excluding the two hardest-hit ones, the epidemic markers are stable, despite restrictions instated for now a week everywhere in France. The impact of the closure of schools is delayed and is expected to be noticeable in the coming weeks. In intensive care units, the critical threshold has been reached the past couple of days, with 5,705 Covid patients in ICU as of April 8. In Paris, ICU admissions keeps on increasing because of too few discharges compared with the number of admissions.

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