With 949 confirmed cases of coronavirus, France is the 2nd country most affected in Europe by the Covid-19 epidemic, just behind Italy. President Emmanuel Macron meets this Sunday at 6 p.m. a Defense Council to “take stock of the situation”. While containment measures are increasing among our Italian neighbors, with 15 million people placed in quarantine in the north of the country, French authorities may be tempted to take similar measures.
The seriousness of the poorly assessed situation in Italy
However, the situation seems very different to date in France and in Italy.
“We are not there yet, we have clusters that are perfectly identified and we must limit the extension from these clusters”, explains Professor Benoît Vivien, member of the board of directors of the French Society of Disaster Medicine .
The two most affected departments, Oise and Haut-Rhin, are at “reinforced stage 2”, in an attempt to contain these sources of contamination. All schools were closed for two weeks.
“If all the individuals remained isolated, alone for a fortnight we would drastically limit the contamination”, he explains, but “we cannot, society must continue to live”.
For Jean-Jacques Zambrowski, hospital doctor and professor of health economics, Italy let the situation escape after the outbreak of the epidemic on its territory.
“The situation was not managed perfectly at the start,” he said. “It forced the Italian authorities, once they took stock of the situation, to adopt containment measures.”
First regional measures in Italy
This situation is also explained by the functioning of the Italian health system, which is very regionalized.
“Each region managed a bit as it wanted the care of the coronavirus,” says Alain Ducardonnet, BFMTV health consultant. “There has been no national strategy, unlike what we do in France. Like China, Italy is now paying for this delay in ignition.”
In France, patient care was immediately harmonized at the national level.
“When we go to stage 3, there will surely be a regional strategy with the regional health agencies”, explains Alain Ducardonnet.
The country will go to “stage 3” if the virus is circulating and is transmissible throughout the country, which is not yet the case in France.
No quarantine, for the moment
If quarantining large areas, and school closings and public places that would go with it, is not topical, everything can always change from one day to another depending on the evolution of a crisis that Jean-Jacques Zambrowski considers to be “the greatest test never suffered by our health system. “
“You have to understand that we are constantly adapting,” recalls Alain Ducardonnet.