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reconfinement, status quo, wait-and-see policy … A story of five days of zigzagging at the top of the State

On this Friday, January 22, Europe is paralyzed by the British variant of Covid-19, which scientists have given the barbaric name of VOC 202012/01. Belgium has just banned its nationals from traveling abroad. The UK has over a thousand deaths a day. Germany is confined. Portugal is on the verge of asphyxiation. In Paris, the executive wonders: how long before France suffers the same fate?

Since the end of 2020, the epidemic curve has been progressing slowly but surely. The “High plateau” described by the authorities climbs to the rhythm of a funicular. Nearly 3,000 people occupy the intensive care units of hospitals, as when the second confinement was triggered in October. An Elysée adviser confided to the World : “Containment seems quite inevitable. “

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For several days, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has been making the same observation in a small committee. He repeats to his visitors that he will work on the hypothesis of a re-containment the following week, while keeping the schools open. That day, a meeting of the heads of the Matignon pole evoked the idea of ​​putting France under cover for three weeks. The machine is started.

Two days later, the Sunday newspaper displays at its “one”: “Reconfinement imminent”. The weekly says that Emmanuel Macron must “Announce it in person to the French in a televised statement”, scheduled for Wednesday. Formal denial of the Elysée, irritated by “Pressure shots”. The Head of State does not want to be imposed this measure as long as the figures do not demonstrate the urgent need for it. With around 20,000 new cases per day, France can still avoid it, he estimates. A defense council is scheduled for Wednesday; nothing will be decided beforehand.

Castex: “All the indicators are worrying”

This is without counting Jean-François Delfraissy, guest on television, Sunday evening. The president of the scientific council made phone calls all afternoon to share his conviction: preventive containment must be established, before the British variant is out of control. On BFM-TV, he warns: the VOC 202012/01 is detected in “7% -8% -9%” positive cases controlled “In the Paris region, and perhaps other regions”. “We will probably have to go towards confinement”, he warns, repeating what doctors and scientists say all day long on television sets.

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