A study says over 60,000 deaths have been avoided in France thanks to confinement

Published by Charlene S. · Published on 23 April 2020 at 11h32 · Updated on 24 April 2020 at 17h44
Without the implementation of confinement in France, the death toll would have been much heavier a study from the EHESP says. Thanks to social distancing measures, over 60,000 lives have been saved.

According to these three searchers at the EHESP French school of Public Health (EHESP), confinement has been effective. On April March 22, 2020, Pascal Crépey, Clément Massonnaud and Jonathan Roux, these three epidemiology specialists, have released a study showing what the consequences would have been if the government wouldn’t have implemented confinement. Results are surprising. The analysis shows that over 60,000 have been saved thanks to social distancing.

How did they get such results? The study has been carried out based on data shared by hospitals and the French healthcare system. With these data, the three scientists managed to set up a statistic model enabling them to estimate the propagation of the epidemic in France without confinement, between March 19 and April 19. Searches say the number, already considerable, of 60,000 deaths avoided is yet just a minimum. Deaths in nursing homes and at home were not included because data on those are yet too flawed to be counted. Moreover, one of the scientists, Pascal Crépey, said to Le Monde that the study does not include “all patients who died because not attended if hospitals were overcrowded”.

For instance, on April 19th, without confinement, they think 10,000 people would have died in only 24 hours. In Île-de-France, over 190,000 patients would have been hospitalized against 31,000 prior to confinement. And with one French in four infected by Covid-19, over 140,000 serious cases would have been in intensive care units, but in reality, hospitals only have 7,000 beds in ICU.

There is no doubt for these searchers, confinement was more than vital. It saved countless lives. Yet, they recall confinement will not help us fight the disease on a long-term basis. As long as a vaccine or herd immunity is not developed, the risk of catching the virus remains present.


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