And what if the deconfinement took place according to a different calendar according to the territories? If it is, for the moment, only one track among others, it is more and more often mentioned. Emmanuel Macron in person now envisages it openly in turn.
The government must present its national deconfinement protocol by the end of April or the beginning of May at the latest, while confinement as it is known today is supposed to last until May 11. However, the procedures may not be the same from one place to another.
What would be the interest?
The idea would be to lift the containment measures gradually and at different rates depending on the area. The regions or departments least affected by the Covid-19 epidemic would of course be deconfigured first. Social and economic activity (schools, transport, shops, restaurants, etc.) could thus resume more quickly in certain parts of the territory.
What is the executive considering at the moment?
On the move to Brittany on Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron mentioned the possibility of taking more or less rapid measures “depending on the sectors and according to the regions”. “There may be steps on some subjects that can happen faster in places where the virus has not spread,” he added. The Head of State thus opens the door to a strategy that he himself however rejected during his speech on April 13.
“Should regional disparities be taken into account? It is a health assessment that will have to be done. The situation is not the same in New Aquitaine where there have been fewer cases of Covid or in Ile-de-France where the virus is circulating a lot “, also indicated the Minister of Economy, Bruno le Maire, this Thursday on France Info.
Edouard Philippe had mentioned a “regionalized” deconfinement rhythm during his hearing in the National Assembly, from April 1. On April 5, the Academy of Medicine for its part recommended deconfinement “by region rather than by age group”.
How would the territories be chosen?
Several factors could be taken into account. “The number of positive people is a very bad indicator because screening is not generalized or practiced everywhere in the same way”, immediately excludes the epidemiologist Catherine Hill, joined by Le Parisien.
On the other hand, “the day-to-day evolution of the number of people hospitalized in intensive care and that of the number of deaths in hospital are the best indicators to observe the dynamics of the epidemic”, continues the former head of service of biostatistics and epidemiology at the Gustave Roussy Institute.
The Academy of Medicine also recommends taking into account the number of people hospitalized and in particular those in intensive care. The first deconfigured regions could be those where one observes “a return of the needs for resuscitation to the pre-epidemic state”, it was written in its press release of April 5.
In each of the regions and each of the departments, as across the country, the number of intensive care patients has been falling almost constantly since April 8. But we are still at often very high levels and, everywhere, much higher than on March 17, the day of the entry into force of containment. This Thursday, April 23, Île-de-France still has more than 2,000 intensive care patients, or about 17 serious cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Certain large regions, such as Auvergne Rhône Alpes and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, also have departments that are fairly spared (less than 5 intensive care patients) and others that are very affected (more than 200 severe cases).
The Health Guide information site, based on data from Public Health France, has developed its own map based on the decrease in hospital admissions and the availability rate of resuscitation beds. This, more theoretical, should be taken with caution due to the distribution of beds which varies by region.
However, all these indicators do not identify asymptomatic cases. “We do not know the exact number, but they are most likely less contagious,” judges microbiologist Patrick Berche, member of the Academy of Medicine and co-secretary of his working group on Covid-19.
In a large study released Tuesday, April 21, the Institut Pasteur gave estimates of the percentage of the population infected on May 11. The rate would then be 5.7% across the country with wide disparities according to the regions: around 12% in Île-de-France and Grand Est, and less than 3% on the west coast of the country. .
Begins would this happen in practice?
Among the measures gradually implemented depending on the territory, one can imagine the reopening of schools, restaurants, or certain businesses.
According to our information, the Academy of Medicine is preparing to publish, within 48 hours, new recommendations concerning deconfinement. It should include, in particular, the reopening of restaurants and cafes on progressive dates depending on the regions but also to reserve, everywhere and with exceptions, public transport for professional activities. Wearing a mask will once again be recommended throughout the country, in particular to avoid a new wave of the epidemic and to have to reconfigure.
One of the corollaries to such a strategy would also be to maintain the ban on interregional travel, which the executive plans to do. And this, “for at least several weeks,” says Patrick Berche.
In the field, mayors and prefects should be on the front line, even if the region and department presidents also expect to have their say. Being himself mayor, prefect, departmental councilor and former regional councilor, Jean Castex, the government’s “Monsieur déconfinement”, seems well placed to develop such a strategy.