France begins to lift restrictions against Covid, but WHO launches alert and urges caution

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France begins to lift restrictions against Covid, but WHO launches alert and urges caution

France began this Tuesday (1st) the gradual reduction of restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. For example, the use of masks on the street and the limitation of public in cultural spaces are no longer mandatory.

The World Health Organization (WHO), however, launched a new alert asking for caution in easing the measures. According to Maria Van Kerkhove, the entity’s technical leader, many countries have not yet experienced the peak of contagion caused by the ômicron variant, which becomes even more serious where there are no high rates of vaccination coverage.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concern that the high transmissibility and lower severity of cases attributed to the new strain could lead countries to decide that prevention measures are no longer necessary, or worse, are no longer necessary. possible. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “It is premature for any country to surrender or declare victory.”

In an interview published this Wednesday (2) in the French press, President Emmanuel Macron recommended that the population remain cautious. “We have to remain vigilant as the pressure in hospitals is still high.”

The moving average of daily Covid cases in France reached a peak of 366,500 on January 25. Since then, the index has been falling but still exceeds the mark of 322 thousand new infections per day. On November 2, 2021, the moving average was 5,288 — which indicates an increase of nearly 6,000% in three months.

The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in French hospitals is also on the rise – there were more than 32,000 on Tuesday, of which 3,751 were in ICU beds.

The number of deaths has also grown since November (more than 700%), but the current approximately 260 daily victims of the disease form a much lower figure than that recorded at the peaks of the pandemic in France – which is attributed, among other factors, to the vaccination rates. More than 76% of French people completed the first vaccination course, and 48% received booster doses of the immunizer.

Although the numbers do not indicate a scenario of control of the pandemic, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced at the end of January the lifting of most restrictions. In addition to the use of masks, remote work is also no longer mandatory. Cultural and sporting spaces, such as football stadiums, will no longer be restricted by the public.

The vaccine passport, which, in Macron’s words, was designed to “annoy the unvaccinated”, remains in effect. From February 16, however, a new phase of easing restrictions begins, when nightclubs, closed since December 10, will be able to reopen, and the French will be able to drink again at the bars of the bars.

Source: Folha

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