Curfews, confinement and quarantine … a world tour on different strategies to combat the virus

Containment, re-containment, quarantine? There are many strategies for containing the Covid-19 epidemic as the virus spreads. If, in the spring of 2020, most states issued containment measures, since the fall everyone seems to have found their own tactics for containing the epidemic. Franceinfo explains these different options and evaluates their effectiveness.

Curfew, as in France and Spain

The preferred solution for re-containment, the curfew has been in effect in France since December 15th. It was extended on January 16, with an advanced start time of 6 PM, as opposed to 8 PM earlier. The measure aims to limit trips, gatherings and meals to several in the evening. But its effectiveness is debated. Thus, in France, the average daily pollution for seven consecutive days remains about 20,000 cases.

The Netherlands has also chosen this solution since January 23. Its establishment also caused a wave of riots in the country, but the government did not back down. Even Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced an extension of the measure until March 15th. Since the curfew came into effect, the number of daily cases has increased from 5,000 to 4,000 in the country. Spain also applied it. However, with one major difference: bars and restaurants remain open during the day. However, the results are mixed: although the number of daily infections has decreased since February, Madrid hospitals remain overcrowded and More than 8000 cases daily It was still listed on February 25th.

Local containment, as in Nice or Germany

If the epidemic resumes only in a part of the region, it is possible to limit this area only to prevent the virus from spreading to the rest of the country. This is a choice that some regions in France, especially in the Maritimes Alps, have made from the weekend of February 27th. The infection rate surpassed 700 cases per 100,000 residents of Nice on February 22. Result: The department will be subject to reservations on the coming weekends. The Dunkirk Conglomerate, with an incidence of over 900, is targeted with this metric.

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In Germany, the use of this measure has been in effect since June 2020, as the canton of Gütersloh, in the west of the country, was placed under cover for a week after the increase in Covid-19 cases. But this local strategy across the Rhine is also explained by the highly decentralized political performance: each province (region) applies restrictions depending on the evolution of the epidemic. The states have many powers over education. It is they who decide specifically to close schools. All schools, which have closed for two months, should reopen gradually from March 1, depending on the region, with various measures: limited numbers, wearing a mask or ventilating rooms.

Containment, as in Portugal

Governments now consider containment the last resort in the face of Covid-19. Portugal is one of the last countries to have to make a decision again due to outbreaks of cases. Indeed, residents have been trapped there since January 15th, and the state closed its schools a week later. Lisbon’s usually crowded streets and tramways, are now empty. Case can “Likely” And continue until mid-March, according to the Minister of Health.

This radical method has the advantage of efficiency. From 10,000 new cases per day while implementing containment, the country has decreased to about 1,000 infections per day as of February 25, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Trade Square in Lisbon (Portugal), emptied of its residents in complete confinement, on February 18, 2021 (GUSTAVO VALIENTE HERRERO / ANADOLU AGENCY)

Portugal is not the only country in southern Europe to make this choice. In Greece, since November 7, residents can only leave their homes after receiving an SMS from the government allowing them to do so. Traveling between departments is prohibited. A curfew has also been imposed from 10 pm until 6 pm on weekends. But in the face of an increase in cases in the Athens region, the government has also decided to close non-essential businesses, schools and churches until February 28. About 1,500 cases are discovered daily in the country, half of them in the capital.

Dismantling is gradual but “irreversible” in the United Kingdom

In contrast to these new lockdowns, the Boris Johnson government has just revealed its plan for … disintegration in the UK. After nearly two months of restrictions and an especially harsh winter, the English could soon be allowed to meet in the fresh air and in cultural settings, if the numbers of the epidemic continued to stabilize. While it had more than 60,000 daily cases of Covid-19 virus at the start of January, the country now has between 8,000 and 10,000 infections per day, numbers sufficient to consider many structures returning to service.

“We cannot continue indefinitely with restrictions that weaken our economy, and our mental and physical well-being, Boris Johnson explained to MPs. That is why it is imperative that this road map be wise, but irreversible. ” The government’s goal is to allow schools to reopen on March 8. Non-essential stores, outdoor bars and restaurants as well as museums will follow on April 12, and finally, a partial return of fans to the stadiums from May 17. All these measures only pertain to the territory of England: Wales and Scotland, which are both self-governing regarding health strategies, apply different measures.

Strict quarantine for any traveler, as is the case in Israel

Do not close its borders to travelers for a convincing reason, but impose a 10-day quarantine upon arrival: This is Israel’s bet on fighting the epidemic. Once they disembark, the travelers are isolated in a hotel, at the expense of the Jewish state. Three times a day, a meal is left in front of each resident’s door, who is unable to leave his room under any circumstances, subject to a fine of 1,200 euros. He was booked in a 15-square-meter room that she had to live in, Dominique Derda, France’s TV correspondent in Israel. He explains this in this report to France 2.

France 2

This method, combined with a highly sophisticated vaccine strategy and a third lockdown, has allowed the country to drop to less than 4,000 cases per day. Number twice less than the previous month. January was the country’s deadliest month since the outbreak began. Although the disease was contained, 1,000 people died from Covid-19 during the first month of the year.

This method is also applied in New CaledoniaEvery two weeks, travelers get one hour of hiking per day. It is essential to undergo a PCR test upon arrival at the area, then another test at the end of the 14 days of isolation to avoid any risk of contamination. As of February 26th only 58 cases of Covid-19 It was registered to Caillou and there is no need for any death.

The “zero Covid” strategy is the same as in New Zealand or Taiwan

The “zero Covid” strategy is popular in many Asian countries, and it marks the implementation of drastic measures as soon as a single case of Covid-19 emerges. Patient contacts are tracked and isolated in order to stop any possibility of contamination. Australia and New Zealand preferred this method, which consists of not allowing the virus to spread. In Melbourne, a five-day prison sentence was issued on February 12th after the discovery of 13 so-called “English” cases. Ditto in New Zealand, February 14: After three cases were discovered in Auckland, the Prime Minister of New Zealand issued a decree to imprison this city of two million people for three days.

China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore also implemented this method once the virus reached their soil, in 2020. If it is still relevant, it will not be without consequences. Singapore has paid the price for closing the borders, as its economy relies heavily on tourism. With 2.7 million tourists in 2020 compared to 19.1 million in 2019, the country experienced the worst economic recession in its history (-5.8%). In China, the epidemic was contained at the cost of drastic measures: residents were tied up with an exit ban, meals were delivered to them at home and they had to undergo a PCR test at the end of this public isolation. In towns where wearing a mask is mandatory, local police drones are also inviting residents to order.

However, the “zero Covid” flash strategy is envious. It must be said that since the start of the epidemic, New Zealand has recorded only 26 deaths; Singapore 29; Taiwan only 9. “On the health level, they are the undisputed champions of the world due to the low number of deaths per person, and at the social level, life has resumed its rights: bars, restaurants, cultural and sports activities, schools and universities are usually open, and the barrier is almost non-existent.”Epidemiologist Antoine Flahault explains to AFP. But this method will be difficult to implement in Europe.

No procedure, as in the United States

In the United States, none of this has been proven: it is impossible for the Federal Administration to impose measures on the entire territory. When he reached the White House, Joe Biden took the first step by issuing a mandatory order to wear the mask in federal state buildings. But going forward, the government must rely on the decisions of each country.

So it seems complicated for the country to slow the evolution of the epidemic, unless there is coordinated action by local executives. The United States surpassed a milestone of 500,000 deaths on February 22nd and remains the most bereaved country in the world. More than 28 million Americans have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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