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the hypothesis of a new confinement is debated within the executive

The executive is sailing more than ever in the fog in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic, to the point of arousing cacophony at the top of the state. Wednesday January 27, Emmanuel Macron must chair a health defense council and decide whether or not he intends to pronounce a new generalized confinement of the country, the third since the start of the health crisis. Officially, his entourage ensures that “Everything is on the table”, including the status quo, even a reduction in measures if the curve of the epidemic were to weaken in the days to come. A highly improbable scenario.

In fact, pressure continues to mount from all sides – among scientists and within the executive – to demand preventive containment in the face of the threat posed by variants of the virus, in particular the one from the United Kingdom. “We will probably have to go towards confinement”, estimated the president of the scientific council, Jean-François Delfraissy, Sunday, January 24, on BFM-TV, qualifying the relative stability of the epidemic circulation in France of “False security”. “If we continue without doing anything more, we will find ourselves in an extremely difficult situation, like other countries, from mid-March”, he warned. A way to cry wolf, or to prepare minds for an outcome that some close to Emmanuel Macron qualify as“Inevitable” ? On January 22, the United Kingdom recorded a record figure of 1,241 deaths per day on average over a week.

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Rely on tangible data

Within the executive, opinions differ on the relevance of preventive confinement. “The figures must demonstrate the need”, argues an Elyos adviser, who is worried about possible “Dramatic economic and social consequences for a result perhaps equivalent to a curfew”. However, before making his decision, the President of the Republic wants to rely on tangible data. The results of studies to assess the effectiveness of the curfew at 6 p.m. nationally as well as the rate of dissemination of the variants are announced for Wednesday. They will be decisive, ensure several sources within the executive, to adjust the response to the gradual increase in contamination, which is located on “A high plateau”, with nearly 24,000 new cases on Saturday.

In an interview with Parisian published Sunday, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, said to wait “To be fixed on the effects of the curfew”. “If it doesn’t go down, if the variants start to spread everywhere, then we will take additional measures, of course. And that’s called confinement ”, he warned. A hypothesis on which the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, supporter of a hard sanitary line, has been working for several days already.

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