The epidemic continues to decline, but at a slower pace

The weather for Covid-19 is good. It was confirmed that all indicators of the epidemic declined for the fifth week in a row. Hospital treatment levels had reached mid-May 2020, at the time of the first removal; The number of people in critical care fell below the 3,000 threshold in the firsthe is June. Hospital patient deaths due to Covid-19 have continued to decline and have fallen to less than 100 per day.

However, it is still too early to say the pandemic is behind us. The reproduction rate increased slightly, from 0.75 to 0.8, and even reached 0.88 for admission to intensive care units. “This recovery began at the beginning of May, which corresponds to the resumption of secondary school, knowing that there may also be an impact, admittedly, at the primary level”, Mircea Sofonea, Lecturer in Epidemiology and Development of Infectious Diseases at the University of Montpellier.

Regarding the possible “terracing effect” that the first phase of the lifting of the blockade led to fear, on May 19 the resumption of pollution will not be observed for the time being, but it is still necessary to wait a week before being able to gauge the consequences of this reopening. “We do not expect these outside activities to lead to a resumption of the epidemic, because there was a much greater impact of the third lockdown than expected”The researcher confirms.

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This sharp decline in the epidemic was not expected by most epidemiological models. Regarding his modeling team, Mircea Sofonea explains that calibrated according to the first two aphasia model, the reproductive rate dropped sharply in the first stage and then increased again. But in the case of the third confinement, the week of Easter eventually proved more conducive to the circulation of the virus than the one that followed.

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“This indicates that the models still need to be improved”, admits Mircea Sofonea, while remembering that they are based on assumptions and are by no means expectations. The researcher believes that this unexpected decrease confirms that the closure of schools has cut the chains of transmission.

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Jan-Stephan Dersen, deputy director of the National Institute of Mathematical Sciences and its interactions with the CNRS, emphasized that the models poorly incorporated the May public holidays, and were interpreted differently according to experts in calculating the incidence. Rate. Because every time it comes to making up for the low detection rates on these exceptional days, either by applying the data of a normal day to it, or by using it. “Forgetting”. “We had a blurry view of the descent, definitely slower than that of the second wave, but it’s steady, mathematics world. There was also the problem of identifying the causes, several causes leading to the same effects. “

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