France lifted lockdown about three months ago now. And even though the coronavirus epidemic was under control and the trend was encouraging, now, more and more indicators show a new growth. The resurgence of the epidemic has been noticed in areas that were pretty much spared so far, as well as in Île-de-France.
After Paris, Seine Saint Denis, Val de Marne, Hauts-de-Seine the other four departments in Île-de-France have now exceeded the alert threshold and are now part of the regions where the virus circulates the most actively, Prime Minister Jean Castex says on August 27 in a press conference. Essonne, Yvelines, Seine-et-Marne and Val-d'Oise are now listed as "red area".
Please note that 13 other departments in France are considered as "areas of active circulation of the virus".
Interviewed by Europe 1, Agence Régionale de Santé en Île-de-France director Aurélien Rousseau gives an update, mid-July, on the situation in the Paris area. Even though the contamination and hospitalization tolls were still low, he said that “waves have been increasing for a few days, and this is worrying”.
This increase has been noticed through several indicators as well. Among them, the amount of calls to paramedics in a day: in about ten days, it went from 133 on July 6, to 226 as of July 16, 2020. On the same period, the incidence showing the number of cases out of 100,000 inhabitants moved from 6 to 7.4. In Seine-Saint-Denis, the vigilance threshold (set at 10) has been exceeded on July 17, 2020. This Tuesday August 4, 2020, the regional average in Île-de-France reaches 23.1 for 100,000 inhabitants, that is to say 8.6 more points over 7 days: the vigilance threshold has been exceed on the Ile-de-France level. The next threshold is the alert one and is set at 50. This Thursday August 20, 2020, the incidence rate in Paris reaches 79.6. As for Val de Marne, it goes up to 53.6, and Seine-Saint-Denis reports an increase to 50. The rest of the region is beyond the vigilance threshold.
Aurélien Rousseau also shared a worrying observation: the increase in contact cases: “When someone is contaminated, we realize they have not seen – like one month after lockdown ended – two or three people, but seen five or six”. Yet, the ARS director said France is still at a stage they can take actions and he reminds the importance of maintaining barrier gestures, wearing facemask, and getting tests in case there is a doubt. A massive campaign is currently carried out in 32 cities in Île-de-France.