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Update on the pandemic: a "triple epidemic" in France, China lightens its anti-Covid strategy

Rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations: with the drop in temperatures and a new sub-variant, the virus is talking about itself again, almost three years after the start of the pandemic, reigniting fears for those most at risk.

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Update on the pandemic: a "triple epidemic" in France, China lightens its anti-Covid strategy

Rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations: with the drop in temperatures and a new sub-variant, the virus is talking about itself again, almost three years after the start of the pandemic, reigniting fears for those most at risk. All the latest information of the week.

The "triple epidemic" facing France, with the simultaneous circulation of Covid, bronchiolitis and influenza, is "completely unprecedented" and its evolution still difficult to predict, underlined this Friday, December 2 Public Health France.

The flu hits the metropolis early, adding to a rapidly rising Covid and bronchiolitis at record levels for more than 10 years in infants. This situation hits an already tested health system, as in other countries, notably the United States.

“The situation is completely unprecedented” and filled with “uncertainties”, summarized Didier Che, deputy director for infectious diseases, during a press briefing from the public health agency. "In previous years, there were more respiratory viruses that followed one another: a first circulation of rhinoviruses gave way to RSVs (main virus involved in bronchiolitis, editor's note), which, very generally, gave way to the flu. There, we have co-circulations”, detailed the epidemiologist Sophie Vaux.

This situation is "worrying" because the addition of these pathologies can lead to "a fairly strong clinical impact, especially on hospitals", she added. And this, even if these viruses do not affect "exactly the same populations", the flu and the Covid mainly affecting the oldest and most vulnerable, bronchiolitis mainly infants.

The World Health Organization welcomed this Friday the relaxation of the anti-Covid strategy in China, after demonstrations of anger against the authorities' "zero Covid" policy.

“We are happy to hear that the Chinese authorities are adjusting their current strategies and are really trying to calibrate the control measures they need now,” said Dr Michael Ryan, WHO emergency manager, during the meeting. of a regular press briefing in Geneva.

Several Chinese cities further eased draconian anti-Covid rules on Friday, with President Xi Jinping arguing that the less deadly Omicron variant of the virus allows "more flexibility" in restrictions.

The anger of the Chinese towards the hard line health in the fight against the pandemic had overflowed in the streets last weekend, a mobilization of an unprecedented scale for decades.

A little earlier in the week, government spokesperson Olivier Véran called on elderly or sick French people to give a new reminder of the Covid-19 vaccine, deploring that “only 20%” of them are “at day" in full epidemic recovery of Covid-19 and flu. “I am speaking to the French: if you are 60 years old and over, if you are a carrier of disease or if you are in daily contact with fragile or elderly people, get vaccinated against Covid if you are not up-to-date with your reminder," the minister said on RMC-BFMTV on Thursday.

"It takes you 5 minutes and it will protect you, it will limit the risk of complications and hospitalization," he added, referring to the delay for the second vaccination booster against Covid-19. “People who are young and who have been exposed or who have had (Covid-19), who have been vaccinated, keep stronger immunity than older people,” recalled the former Minister of Health.

“We have a variant that circulates a lot, we have days with tens of thousands of contaminations, we have an increase of more than 20% in hospital activity in sheaves, linked to Covid, it weakens our hospital and our system of health", insisted Olivier Véran.

A "solemn appeal" to respect barrier gestures: on Tuesday, Elisabeth Borne sounded the alarm in the face of a "new wave" of the Covid-19 epidemic, which "still kills", and castigated "obscurantism of some elected officials on vaccines.

"Let's respect the barrier gestures, let's wear the mask as soon as we are with fragile people or in crowded areas such as public transport. These are small gestures that save lives", affirmed the Prime Minister during the session of the questions to the government in the National Assembly.

"This new wave reminds us: the virus has not disappeared, the epidemic still strikes, kills again," she added. This is "additional pressure" on hospitals which are already dealing with epidemics of influenza and bronchiolitis, she recalled, calling for vaccination against influenza and Covid.

Paxlovid, an antiviral still too little prescribed? It is necessary to prescribe this anti-Covid treatment from the Pfizer laboratory, for people at risk, recommended this Monday the immunologist Brigitte Autran, who chairs the Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks (Covars).

"It is an antiviral which blocks the replication (of the virus, editor's note), which allows when it is taken in the first three or 5 days of the symptoms to prevent the evolution towards serious forms", recalled on France 2 the scientist at the head of Covars, which took over from the Scientific Council.

“When you are at risk, a doctor following a patient at risk says to him: if you have symptoms, you get tested and I give you the prescription, and with proof that your test is positive, you can get the Paxlovid," she said.

“There were around 15,000 prescriptions during the month of October but it is still insufficient, it really needs to be used a lot more”, judged Brigitte Autran, recalling that around 1,000 people are still in intensive care or in care. criticism in France due to the Covid, but "we can avoid it".

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