Coronavirus: why a long epidemic plateau

Published by Rizhlaine F. · Photos by My B. · Published on 13 April 2020 at 15h49
In France, the coronavirus epidemic seems to reach a long epidemic plateau. What does it mean and why this situation is said to last?

While the coronavirus epidemic keeps on evolving in France, a question was regularly asked: when will the epidemic peak? In compliance with the government’s strategy that consisted in flattening the curve as much as possible, the peak seems to have changed into a plateau.

To understand why this situation is said to last, you first have to compare a peak and a plateau. When an epidemic peaks, the increase is rapid to a high top and let us think it will decrease just as rapidly. In the case of a plateau, the growth slows down before stagnating to a lowest level but for a longer time than for a peak. The decrease is said to follow the path of the increase.

It would also say that confinement measures may have been able to slow down the propagation of the virus. An analysis that should invite to more respect of the confinement measures as authorities seem to fear a slackening from the French people.

If the latest reports seem to show a decrease of the number hospitalized in intensive care, it means we’re getting closer to the plateau but when haven’t reached it yet: if that was the case, we would see a stagnation rather than an increase. If the latest weakens, it’s yet still happening.

Yet, slackening confinement could lead to another scenario and boost the increase of covid-19 again on French soil. A too harsh deconfinement could also lead to a second epidemic wave for which it should be gradual.

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