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Emmanuel Macron brings together his ministers, by videoconference for the most part, on Wednesday, for a Health Defense Council in the face of the very worrying increase in Covid-19 cases in the West Indies, where vaccination is struggling. The surveillance of cases in the South of France, vaccines and the health pass are also on the menu of this meeting.
Outbreak of cases in the West Indies, vigilance in the South of France, implementation of the health pass and evolution of vaccination: the executive, once again under pressure, meets Wednesday August 11 during a Health Defense Council chaired by Emmanuel Macron by videoconference from Brégançon.
This Council of Ministers mobilized on the ground against the Covid-19 epidemic, in the heart of the summer, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jean Castex will attend from Carcassonne, where he comes to visit the Hospital Center. Overseas Minister Sébastien Lecornu will connect from Guadeloupe, where he arrived overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.
The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, just like Alain Griset in charge of SMEs, joined him as the Head of State at Fort de Brégançon in the Var before going to Martinique in turn on Thursday.
The “extremely serious” health situation in Martinique and Guadeloupe will be the priority of this Council, repeated the spokesperson Gabriel Attal on Tuesday evening. The incidence rate, “colossal” according to him, reached more than 1,700 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Guadeloupe and 1,200 in Martinique.
Likely reinforcement of containment in Guadeloupe
Some “274 caregivers and 60 firefighters from all over France as reinforcements” came “to lend a hand to the medical teams” of the two islands, said Sébastien Lecornu on Twitter.
In Martinique, a new strict containment has been put in place with the closure of non-essential businesses, seasonal rentals, hotels and beaches, while tourists have been asked to leave the island. In neighboring Guadeloupe, the figures are also exploding with 14 dead last week.
In the two West Indian islands, barely 20% of the population is fully vaccinated, against more than 55% in mainland France.
“The Delta variant is more contagious and affects a population that is not sufficiently protected,” Sébastien Lecornu told AFP, worrying about “an incidence rate that has never been known ” in France. The minister arrived in Guadeloupe where he immediately went to the CHU to make “an update to take stock of the health situation and the hospital tension with the nursing staff,” he tweeted.
Before his departure, he had mentioned a probable strengthening of confinement on this island two days after the one decided in Martinique. “We must continue the education on vaccination to win those who are naturally skeptical of those who are anti-everything,” pleads a government adviser.
Due to threats of hospital saturation, the first patient evacuations were carried out in early August to hospitals in France. “National solidarity will play a full role for overseas”, underlines the executive, and the question of new transfers could be approached during the Council.
Covid hospitalizations on the rise in France
The situation in metropolitan France, where the number of hospitalizations (9,153 people) and patients in critical care services (1,712) continues to increase, also gives rise to serious concerns, particularly in the South. “We are on a high plateau, slightly ascending. We do not yet see the beginning of the descent, we see however the impact on hospitals,” warned the spokesperson.
Faced with the risk of saturation of hospitals, the white plan was activated Tuesday in New Aquitaine, after the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Corsica and Occitania. The incidence has strongly increased and the vaccination rate in the South is a little lower than the national average.
Three patients in intensive care were transferred Tuesday by plane from Occitanie to Hauts-de-France as a preventive measure.
Health pass in “break-in week”
The Council will also examine the disputed implementation of the extended sanitary pass, in force since Monday and currently in “running-in week”.
Gabriel Attal ruled out the extension of the vaccination obligation to the police. As for the distribution of a third dose to the elderly and the most fragile, announced by Emmanuel Macron, it should not yet be the subject of a decision on Wednesday, “pending the opinion of the health authorities” , according to the Élysée.
“Vaccination saves lives. The virus kills,” Emmanuel Macron hammered on Twitter on Tuesday. The executive retains its goal of 50 million vaccinated at the end of August, deemed achievable given the 45 million people who have received at least one dose and the pace of the vaccination campaign, around 300,000 first daily injections.