Covid-19: Scientific Council recommends closing schools as “last resort”

The Basics In a statement sent to the government last Thursday, the Scientific Council believes that schools should only be closed as a last resort.

The Scientific Council recommends the closure of schools only as a “last resort” and recommends in a new statement an “early” and “regional” strategy to contain the Covid-19 epidemic and the saturation of hospital services.

“Closing schools appears to be an extreme health measure of last resort once effective health protocols are in place,” write members of the Scientific Council, who “stress the very negative effects of early school leavers on learning and may even be unrecoverable” for disadvantaged children Families or in precarious situations “.

“The threat of variants […] remains very present “

“In the event of a critical health situation, the college and high school attendance can be completed,” adds the body, whose delegation will be received by Emmanuel Macron at the end of Tuesday.

On the other hand, the Scientific Council assesses the “unsatisfactory situation in the professional environment” and advocates an “attempt to harden the” health protocols and the means used for their respect and effective control, especially during meals “.

The “fear of a climax in hospital stays greater than in March 2020”

His opinion was sent to the government last Thursday, which has not yet published it but has shared it on social networks. After unsuccessfully asking for a strict four-week limit at the end of January, the agency created by the government to manage the health crisis believes that “the threat posed by the variants of the epidemic dynamic is still very much present”. .

Assuming that from April 1, 300,000 vaccine doses will be injected daily, but “without further reductions in transmission rates and with the effect of variants, we can expect a peak in hospital stays that is higher than that of March 2020”, says the scientist in particular Council determined, based on models from the Pasteur Institute.

Move towards “an early, regional, customized and targeted strategy”

In this context, he advocates “an early, regional, adapted and targeted strategy” but considers “the regional management of the epidemic to be extremely reactive and forward-looking” and warns that this strategy is difficult to sustain “in the event of” an outbreak of an epidemic several French regions “.

“Compared to the wait and see approach, early action allows the epidemic peak and the accumulated number of hospitalizations and deaths to be minimized,” and “the measures could also be lifted faster, resulting in less economic impact,” emphasizes the body, chaired by Jean- François Delfraissy.

On the other hand, “such a strategy may also make it possible to envisage a gradual reduction of the strictest restrictive measures in areas with a very low transmission rate of the virus,” notes the Scientific Council, which falls under the category of “low-risk cultural sites, including cinemas.” and theaters.