The Basics Last week, France saw fewer than 5,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day. That hadn’t happened in 10 months. The bar is more than symbolic: the decline will allow the health insurance company to carry out its search mission under the best conditions.
This is a milestone that France has not exceeded since the end of August 2020. The country finally recorded less than 5,000 contaminations per day in the past week. In the past seven days, the health authorities have registered around 4,687 new Covid-19 cases every day, as the following graphic shows.
In practice, President Emmanuel Macron made this threshold one of the indispensable conditions for turning the page on Covid-19 in January last year. The decline that followed the second wave of contagion had never allowed France to break below the 10,000 new daily threshold. From a vaccination campaign that had not yet started in bad weather for an epidemiological decline, the country was stuck in the trap of the “high plateau” of contamination for several months, urging the executive to maintain the curfew and numerous restrictive measures to contain the epidemic and Slowing down hospital stays.
“Above all an administrative threshold”
The bar is more than symbolic. 5,000 contaminations per day, the traceability strategy of the French health authorities is based on this course. The French Science Council was the first to take up this question, taking a less daring course: “With more than 10,000 cases a day, it becomes very difficult to carry out manual contact tracing quickly and exhaustively,” said Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the Scientific Council.
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During a press conference on December 10th, Prime Minister Jean Castex corrected the situation again: “5,000 cases per day, from this level we can sustainably reduce the pressure on our hospital services, but also regain control over the epidemic.” by tracking down and breaking all chains of contamination without resorting to containment or braking measures. “
In short, the number of cases recorded daily by the health insurances did not allow the health authorities to properly pursue the possible “contact cases” of infected people. “Above all, it is an administrative threshold: We can no longer properly trace the contact cases over 5000 cases per day,” estimates the epidemiologist Martin Blachier when this bar has been reached. And what counts today is the dynamism of the virus. “