As so often with the virus responsible for covid-19, what seems under control can quickly derail. The east of France experiences it again in December. While we fear a possible strong recovery of the epidemic after New Years Eve, the situation is already tense in the hospitals of Grand Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The hospital pressure never completely subsided since October, contrary to what had been observed in the spring, but it has been moving from the South-East to the East of France.
In March and April, the Grand Est region had suffered an extremely trying situation because it housed one of the main sources of contamination. It had concentrated, with the Île-de-France, the rates of hospitalization, then an excess mortality among the most important. During the rapid increase in power of the epidemic, in September and October, the region had, conversely, appeared much more preserved than the hard-hit Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, or its neighboring region of Hauts-de. -France.
An east-west border
For several weeks, however, the situation has worsened in this territory, as well as in the bordering Burgundy-Franche-Comté region. “After a drop in the number of new infections, the positivity rate and the incidence rate in the region during the first four weeks of the 2nd confinement, the number of positive cases is again sharply on the rise”, underlines Public Health France in the last epidemiological point for the region, dated December 17.
If the increase, as elsewhere, is driven by increasing screening, this rate “is now significantly higher than the national incidence rate,” said the agency. The same situation is observed on the positivity rate.
This observation is the same in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. And, further south, in the Alpes-Maritimes.
The concern goes beyond the Grand Est alone: the entire eastern half of France has higher incidence rates. And the effects can already be seen in hospitalizations:
Requests for reconfinement
On the eve of 2021, concern is therefore focused in particular on this geographical area, which concentrates part of the departments in which the curfew could be advanced at 6 p.m. starting January 2. In the Grand Est, only the Bas-Rhin would escape this measure, although the list could still evolve.
“Why wait for the 2nd and why not do it now?” “, Asked this Wednesday on Franceinfo, the president of the Grand Est region, Jean Rottner, who would like a reconfinement as quickly as possible. The mayor of Nancy, Mathieu Klein, has also called for regional reconfiguration.
“We don’t want to confine at this point. Neither generalized confinement nor local confinement ”, clearly announced the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, Tuesday evening.
In addition to possible restrictions, vaccination will begin Monday, in the Grand Est. It will really gain momentum “from January 11 and especially January 15,” according to the director general of the ARS.