“Fight against Covid-19: shadow and light”

The editorial of Figaro, by Cyrille Vanlerberghe.

Cyrille Vanlerberghe.
Cyrille Vanlerberghe. Le Figaro

You don’t have to be a professor of virology to understand that the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic is not well underway. The dreaded second wave is here, without a doubt. France set a sad record on Thursday: that of the highest number of new positive tests in all of Europe, with 41,622 confirmed cases in a single day. With an understandable lag effect, the death curve follows the same trend. The 162 deaths recorded on Thursday are comparable to what the country experienced on March 23, less than a week after the start of containment. A parallel that has certainly not escaped Jean Castex, who posed the threat of a new total blockage of the country by warning that it would be necessary “Consider much harsher measures” that the curfew if the epidemic was not contained in the coming days.

The temptation is strong to want to overwhelm the government, it is true guilty of a difficult to read strategy often giving a sad impression of improvisation

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China does not wait until the end of trials to start vaccinating

DECRYPTION – Beijing takes the lead in the global race for the vaccine against the Covid-19, at a forced march.

The Chinese laboratory Sinovac presented, on September 24, the press campaign for its vaccine against Covid-19.
The Chinese laboratory Sinovac presented, on September 24, the press campaign for its vaccine against Covid-19. WANG ZHAO / AFP

In Beijing

First come, first served. The Covid 19 vaccine is still a sea snake in Europe, but it is already available to early morning residents of Yiwu, a prosperous city in Zhejiang, an hour by train from Shanghai. “We do not accept reservations, you have to queue, those who arrive early can be vaccinated”, affirms an official of the city, questioned by the site sina.com. Only 500 doses are available in this commercial hub on the eve of this so-called vaccination campaign “emergency”, reserved primarily for people deemed vulnerable, workers and students going abroad, beyond the great protective wall, in a world infested by the Covid, as the official press reminds us at the right time. In practice, any person can come to obtain an injection of this vaccine still not approved, against a sum of 400 yuan (50 euros approximately) for two recommended doses, and a signature at the bottom of a form.

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Stéphanie Gicquel, confined by -50 ° C

From March 17 to May 10, France lived to the rhythm of exit certificates. The abrupt cessation of social life was a hardship for many, especially those who live in an apartment without a garden or balcony. In 2015, Stéphanie Gicquel experienced a confinement of another order, in Antarctica. With her husband Jérémie, the thirty-something crossed the South Pole in cross-country skiing, without a traction veil. A course of 2,045 kilometers in 74 days. This feat, which required four years of athletic and mental preparation, earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

In the frozen desert, she faced powerful waves of ice and temperatures down to -50 ° C. While they were walking, eight to sixteen hours a day, the spouses could not speak to each other because of the wind. Once sheltered in their tent, they did not communicate with their relatives in France. It was on their return that they learned of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.

I struggled to readjust to the night – but also to noise, smells and urban pollution. It took me several weeks to get used to it

Stephanie Gicquel

Their “deconfinement” was difficult. “After 74 days in the middle of nature, in permanent daylight, I had a hard time readjusting to the night – but also to noise, smells and urban pollution. It took me several weeks to get used to it ”, explains the thirty-something in the report produced by Le Figaro.

Compared to what she endured five years ago, this year’s confinement seemed easy to Stéphanie Gicquel. “Digital tools have kept me in constant contact with my relatives”, appreciates the explorer. With the second wave, the ultra-trail competitions that she likes are postponed. The extreme sportswoman takes her trouble patiently. She has seen worse.

Report by Thomas Lestavel and Céline Freixe.


A study reveals a cause that increases the risk of death in Corona

In the study, the results of which were published in the journal “Cardiovascular Research”, the researchers focused on evaluating the degree of impact of this pollution, which is responsible for many early deaths, on deaths due to Covid-19 as well.

And the estimates of a university professor, Jos Lilyville, from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and his colleagues showed that this percentage is close to 19 percent in Europe, 17 percent in North America, and 27 percent in East Asia.

In addition, long-term exposure to air pollution contributed to 29 percent of the deaths due to COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, 27 percent in China, 26 percent in Germany, 22 percent in Switzerland, 21 percent in Belgium, 19 percent in the Netherlands, and 18 percent in France, 15 percent in Italy, 14 percent in Britain, 12 percent in Brazil, 11 percent in Portugal, 9 percent in Spain, 6 percent in Israel, 3 percent in Australia and only 1 percent in New Zealand.

The researchers used previous epidemiological data from the United States and China on air pollution, Covid-19 and the SARS disease, similar to COVID-19, in 2003.

These data were combined with data from satellites on global exposure to pollution-causing fine particles (2.5 m in diameter), and other data from soil pollution monitoring networks for the purposes of calculations.

The study authors did not establish any direct causal relationship between this pollution and deaths caused by Covid-19.

The researchers noted that the polluting particles seem to increase the activity of a receptor on the surface of cells known as “ACE-2”, which plays a role in infection with Covid-19.

“We have a double whammy,” said Thomas Munzel of the University of Johannes Gutenberg, one of the authors of the study. “Air pollution hurts the lungs and increases ACE-2 activity, which leads to better absorption of the virus.”

The researchers pointed out that “the transition to an environmentally friendly economy with clean and renewable energy sources will be a catalyst for both the environment and public health, at the local level by improving air quality, and globally by reducing climate change.”

Anna Hansel, a professor of environmental epidemiology at the University of Leicester, described the link between air pollution and deaths from Covid-19 is “very likely”, but said it is “too early to try to determine this impact accurately.”


Less than one in two French people want to be vaccinated

BIG BANG SANTÉ – This is one of the major findings of the OpinionWay-Elsan survey published on the occasion of the Big Bang Health. Overall, those surveyed had a good experience with the confinement.

OpinionWay-Elsan poll for the Big Bang Santé du Figaro.
OpinionWay-Elsan survey for the Big Bang Health of Figaro. Le Figaro

The mistrust of the French population vis-à-vis vaccines, in particular that against SARS-CoV-2, is tenacious. It is in all that emerges from an OpinonWay-Elsan poll for the “Big Bang Health” of the Figaro. Barely one in two respondents (48%) will “ certainly ” or “ probably “ to get vaccinated. It is possible that with the return of the epidemic and the arrival of a vaccine, this proportion will change. Almost a quarter (23%) nevertheless answered “ certainly not ” do it.

Trust in hospitals at 75%

Asked about the capacity of the various actors to cope with the second wave, only 45% of those polled believe the government capable of cope. On the other hand, three quarters of respondents trust their hospitals and clinics. The survey also shows that the confinement was perceived positively by our compatriots. More than 8 in 10 French people say they have experienced confinement. Only 12% have it “Badly lived “, And 5%” very bad “. The vast majority rather enjoyed this period and they are even a quarter to have it. “Very well lived”.

58% fear new confinement

However, the prospect of new confinement hardly enchants the respondents: they are 58% to fear such a scenario. The ratio is even higher (66%) among those over 65. Their vulnerability to the virus and the risk of further severing ties with their children and grandchildren are undoubtedly explanatory elements. Seniors are also less used to using digital platforms to keep in touch with their loved ones.

In this regard, the confinement has benefited teleconsultation websites such as Doctolib or Qare. Around 30% of French people have increased their use of digital tools this year to make an appointment with their doctor or consult him remotely.

Greater role for Europe

The latest lesson from this survey conducted with a sample of 1,002 people representative of the French population at the end of September, more than 80% of French people want Europe to play a more important role in the management of pandemics. The figure is surprising, because the French population has been very critical of the European institutions for several years. But it recognizes the importance of coordinating efforts between countries in the face of a complex virus that knows no borders. In addition, the reconquest of our health sovereignty will undoubtedly pass through the European level.


The Figaro letter of October 23, 2020

In your letter: the curfew announced for 54 departments, the sulphurous contact of the assassin of Samuel Paty, and the surrogacy business in Ukraine.

La lettre du Figaro, your information meeting every morning.
The letter of Figaro, your information meeting every morning. Le Figaro

Dear readers, hello!

«Finished, it’s over, it will end, it may be over“. Since March, we are at the same stage as Clov and Hamm in Game over Beckett to wonder if the health situation will improve sooner or later. One thing is certain, it will not be immediately, 40,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and the government has decided to tighten the screws even more: from this Friday evening, 46 million French people will be holed up in their homes at 9 p.m.

Have a great weekend. Here is the forgotten word of the day: roquentin (a ridiculous old man who wants to play the young man).

Ronan Planchon, journalist at Figaro

• Featured

Covid-19: where is the epidemic really?

A week after the introduction of the curfew in Île-de-France and in eight metropolitan areas, the measure was very widely extended. In total, 54 departments, or 46 million French people, are now affected by this restriction. Le Figaro

«It is too early at this stage to measure the effects of the curfew”Said Jean Castex on Thursday. Finally, this semi-containment must not be unnecessary since the Prime Minister has just extended it. And not just a little. 54 departments are now concerned from Friday midnight, or 46 million

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At Bordeaux University Hospital, the “augmented” doctor operates on his patients on an outpatient basis

BIG BANG HEALTH – Robotic surgery, less invasive, leads to less pain and postoperative complications. The patient arrives in the morning and leaves the same evening. This allowed Pellegrin hospital to catch up on operations the day after confinement.

In this operating room at the Pellegrin hospital in Bordeaux, Professor Jean-Christophe Bernhard has his eyes riveted, not on the patient’s body, but on a computer console. The urologist uses joysticks that guide the forceps of a robot surgeon inside the patient’s body, to his kidney, from where they will carefully extract a cancerous tumor. The images shot by the Figaro teams and broadcast as part of the Big Bang Santé on Thursday, October 22 are impressive. Sensitive hearts, refrain! The patient arrived at 6:45 am this morning at the CHU. He will leave at the end of the day and will be able to sleep at home, like any evening.

Thanks to the Da Vinci robot

Robotic-assisted surgery has shown its full interest in this year of health crisis. Many operations deemed non-priority were canceled during containment. It was therefore necessary to catch up with a significant delay. Dr. Bernhard’s team is able to operate one in five patients on an outpatient basis, thanks to the Da Vinci robot-surgeon and a “Improved rehabilitation path”. A few years ago, the patient had to spend two days in intensive care and then ten days in the hospital. The outpatient clinic generates precious savings and immobilizes far fewer beds.

Still, not everyone can claim an outpatient tumor removal. The selection depends among other things on the age, general state of health and the entourage of the person.

Report by Thomas Lestavel and Céline Freixe.


“At the end of November, we should file an emergency authorization for a vaccine”

Stéphane Bancel, the French CEO of the American biotech Moderna Therapeutics, who starteds phase 3 clinical trials started in July, explained, at the microphone of Jacques-Olivier Martin, editorial director of the Big Bang Santé du Figaro, that he should file an authorization for a vaccine at the end of November. “We will have efficacy data from our trials in November. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has asked the United States for a period of two months of safety data for at least half of the study, ie 15,000 people, which should be communicated on November 24. So at the end of November, beginning of December, we should file in both the United States and Europe an emergency authorization for a vaccine.», He said.

«It seems that regulatory authorizations, both in the United States and in Europe, for an emergency authorization, focus on medical personnel and the elderly, the people most at risk, continued the boss of Moderna. I think the authorities will want to wait a month or two more to have more data on the safety of the vaccine before it is authorized for any adult ”.

Our correspondent in Beijing Sébastien Falletti, for his part, explained that“Today 100,000 people had already been injected with the vaccine in China. Although no vaccine has yet been approved, the regime is starting to deliver vaccines to essential workers, such as hospital staff or the military.

During a debate dedicated to accelerating research, the president of Sanofi France Olivier Bogillot for his part underlined the fact that“It is interesting to have several technologies simultaneously” in tests to maximize the chances of efficacy of a vaccine.

After this second morning of the Big Bang Santé dedicated to research, the event will continue each morning until the end of the week, live from Figaro.fr at 10:30 am. Thursday, October 22, the morning will be devoted to new technologies. On the program in particular: a speech by Charles-Edouard Bouée, co-managing partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital (AIC), based in Shanghai, and a debate on the role of new technologies in the crisis. Finally, Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, will do us the honor of unveiling some avenues of the new tracking application, “Tous Anti Covid”.


France under curfew, week 1


Since last Saturday, nearly 20 million French people have been living under curfew, soon joined by the inhabitants of the new departments probably placed on maximum alert in the coming days. These measures are globally well accepted despite some hiccups. The epidemic continues to grow in France as well as in Europe where countries like ireland make even more restrictive decisions. As hospitals fill up like Saint Etienne, looking for a miracle drug continues its course. Scientific and technological advances deciphered by the guests of the Big Bang Health and the drafting of Figaro.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro

1. France under curfew, Ireland reconfined

The streets of Montmartre are empty from 9 p.m. in Paris except for dog owners. CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS

The cover of the curfew extends over France. New departments are preparing to go on high alert according to government spokesman Gabriel Attal. The announcement should be made this Thursday evening during the weekly government press briefing, this time led by the Prime Minister. These territories will then be subject to curfew, like the nine metropolises that have been experimenting with it for six days. Last Saturday, at 9 p.m., some 20 million French people lived their first evening under curfew. “It’s 9 p.m., it looks like it’s 1 a.m.Then lamented a Parisian waiter while a quickly dispersed savage protest challenged the measure in the streets of the capital and in Toulouse. Overall, “the curfew is respected», Welcomed the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin who reported Monday of 19,300 checks and 3,000 verbalizations made by the police this first weekend. In sensitive areas of Grenoble, reinforcements were deployed to cover the early evening and night. A quack to be deplored, that of transport. In the Paris region, users complain of “crowded” trainsets between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Europe is also reconfiguring itself. France is no exception. In Europe, many countries are taking more or less drastic restrictive measures. In Belgium, cafes and restaurants have been closed since Monday for four weeks. In Italy, Lombardy is establishing a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. from this Thursday. Italy has seen a sharp increase in new cases of Covid-19 since Friday, with more than 10,000 patients per day. Dublin goes further. Since midnight Wednesday, Ireland has been the first country in the European Union to reconfigure its population. All non-essential shops are closed, but schools and nurseries remain open. “If we unite our efforts for the next six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas properly”, assured Prime Minister Micheal Martin. Outside Europe, Israel, which has already reconfigured itself, faces a challenge to its instructions by some ultra-Orthodox Jews.

2. The epidemic is progressing, so is medical research

The race for the miracle drug against Covid-19 continues. Alexander Elzinga / Photo Feats – stock.adobe.com

Saint-Étienne and its region at the heart of the cyclone. While the epidemic is flaring again in France with 26,676 new cases and 166 deaths in the past 24 hours, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is facing a critical situation, particularly in Saint-Étienne. In just three weeks, the city of seven hills has moved from tenth to first place in the ranking of cities with the most new cases per capita (608 per 100,000 inhabitants) while the hospitalization rate for Covid-19 in the area was multiplied by 2.5. In Lyon, but also in Paris, Lille or Bordeaux, the Christmas market has already been canceled. At the same time, the idea that the epidemic is not so deadly is circulating extensively on social media and is becoming very popular. The drafting of Figaro sift through the numbers and do the math.

In search of the miracle drug. Since the start of the epidemic, the race for drugs that would cure the most serious cases has not weakened. While the hope for tocilizumab is high, it has yet to be confirmed. This antibody intended to calm the immune storm in severe cases indeed presents encouraging results, but contrasted. As for the “miracle” molecule studied by the Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL) for the treatment of Covid-19, its name has been revealed even if the greatest secrecy still reigns over the progress of research. It is clofoctol already marketed in the form of suppositories until 2005. In addition, new studies tend to prove that people with blood type O are less vulnerable to the virus, protected by their anti-A and anti-B antibodies. . Another advantage is that groups O and B are less likely to see their condition worsen than groups A and AB. Less fortunate, patients would have been infected twice by the coronavirus. Extremely rare cases of reinfection that question the scientific community. The latter favors for the moment the track of an individual susceptibility.

3. See you today for the third morning of the Big Bang Santé

On the left, Olivier Bogillot, president of Sanofi France and Dominique Constantini, director of OSE Immuno, guests of the Big Bang Santé du Figaro. Le Figaro

The Big Bang Health that we announced to you some time ago is taking place this week. This Thursday from 10:30 am to noon, you will find an intervention by Charles-Edouard Bouée, co-managing partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital (AIC), based in Shanghai, a debate on the role of new technologies in the crisis and Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of the Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, which will do us the honor of unveiling some avenues of the new tracking application.

The philosopher and psychoanalyst Cynthia Fleury, who opened the first morning on Tuesday, October 20, estimated that “to take care of human life is to take care of humanity of life“. As part of a debate on containment, Karine Lacombe, infectious disease specialist, head of service at Saint-Antoine Hospital, did not rule out the possibility that the virus would become seasonal.

Stéphane Bancel, the French CEO of Moderna Therapeutics, for his part announced Wednesday, October 21 that he should file an emergency authorization for a vaccine at the end of November-beginning of December, while our correspondent in Beijing Sébastien Falletti explained that ‘“Today 100,000 people had already undergone an injection of vaccine in China”.

Follow us on social networks: Twitter @BigBangFigaro – page Facebook : Big Bang Figaro

4. Curfew instructions for use

Since October 17 and for at least four weeks, nine metropolises classified in “maximum alert”(Île-de-France, Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Étienne) are subject to a curfew. Other territories should join them in the coming days.

From 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., travel is prohibited. The inhabitants of these areas must present a certificate to leave their home establishing that they are among the exceptional cases: visit to the doctor, the duty pharmacy or the hospital, professional reason, travel by plane or train (the ticket making faith), help for vulnerable or insecure people, pressing family reasons or child custody, judicial or administrative summons as well as walking a pet. In the event of violation of these rules, they incur a fine of 135 euros and up to 3,750 euros in the event of a repeat offense.

In these perimeters, bars, sports establishments, games rooms, fairs and salons are closed all day and funfairs are prohibited. Higher education establishments cannot accommodate more than 50% of face-to-face students.

In the rest of the country, restrictions are also in force: no gathering of more than 6 in public space, ban on festive gatherings (weddings, student parties) in public rooms, reinforced health protocol.

5. Reflexes to keep

A few simple steps can limit the spread of the virus. Here they are :

  • Wash your hands every hour or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Avoid kissing or shaking hands
  • Wear a mask in public spaces when respect for physical distances is not guaranteed.

Covid-19 is transmitted by droplets (respiratory secretions), by close contact with an infected person, especially when the latter coughs or sneezes. But it can also be transmitted through the air. The virus also remains viable for a few hours on different surfaces.

The disease manifests itself in several symptoms. In 9 out of 10 cases, this results in a fever below 39 ° C. According to the World Health Organization, this fever is most often accompanied by fatigue, signs of shortness of breath and a dry cough. Often a loss of smell and taste.

5. What to do in case of symptoms?

The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will prescribe a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected.

If the test is positive, the Primary Health Insurance Fund will contact people likely to be infected. You must then remain isolated for at least 8 days, taking care not to infect your loved ones. Watch your health. In case of fever, take paracetamol. Plan a follow-up remote consultation with your doctor if necessary. If you feel that you are having difficulty breathing, call 15.

If the test is negative, contact your doctor and follow his instructions.

See you next week.


part of Europe barricades itself against the virus

Restrictive measures are multiplying in Europe in the face of the resurgence of the coronavirus: partial confinement enters into force Thursday in the Czech Republic and a curfew is imposed in two Italian regions while Ireland was reconfigured on Wednesday evening. In France, new intensive care admissions due to Covid-19 have further accelerated. The government will place new departments on high alert. And hope for an effective vaccine was clouded by the death of a volunteer in Brazil.

  • More than 1.12 million deaths worldwide

The pandemic has killed at least 1,126,465 people worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease at the end of December, according to the latest report established by AFP. More than 40,856,210 cases of contamination have been diagnosed. The United States is the most bereaved country with 221,930 dead, followed by Brazil (155,403 dead), India (115,914), Mexico (86,993) and the United Kingdom (43,967).

  • In France, intensive care admissions are accelerating

New intensive care admissions in France accelerated further Wednesday, with 284 admissions in 24 hours, according to Public Health France. The trend is worrying in hospitals, with 2,239 people in total in intensive care or intensive care, therefore in serious condition. Île-de-France alone accounts for 30% of these cases (672 patients), and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes 16% (360 patients). The country now deplores more than 34,000 deaths from the disease, 34,048 to be exact, or 166 more than the day before.

  • New departments on high alert

Jean Castex will announce on Thursday that a “A number of departments will switch to maximum alert” faced with the progression of the Covid-19 epidemic, said government spokesman Gabriel Attal. A sign of the executive’s concern, it is the Prime Minister, and not the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, who will hold this press point Thursday at 5 p.m., even if Olivier Véran as well as the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, and Secretary of State Cédric O will also be present.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: “A number of departments will switch to maximum alert” on October 22, warns Attal

  • Ten thousand cases in less than 24 hours in Germany

The situation is also worsening in Germany, where, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the number of new Covid-19 infections has exceeded 10,000 cases in less than 24 hours, according to official data released on Thursday. Germany has thus recorded 11,287 cases, a figure in net increase of nearly 3,700 compared to the day before, which largely exceeds the previous record of last Friday set at 7,830 new infections recorded by the Robert Koch health watch institute.

  • The Irish reconfined

The Irish have been under house arrest for six weeks since midnight Wednesday, a first in the EU since spring, but schools will remain open. Non-essential businesses will close and the Irish will only be able to leave their homes to exercise within a three-mile radius, or face fines.

SEE ALSO – Ireland: the Prime Minister announces the reconfinement of the country which will make it possible to “celebrate Christmas in a significant way”

  • In Spain, a million cases …

Spain has become the first member country of the European Union – and the 6th in the world – to cross the milestone of one million cases of the new coronavirus (1,005,295). According to the daily report of the Ministry of Health, the country has recorded 16,973 new cases and 156 deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 34,366 deaths.

  • … and partial closure of Zaragoza and La Rioja

The list of Spanish towns and regions partially cordoned off has grown with the addition of the large city of Zaragoza and the wine region of La Rioja. These sanitary cords prohibit entering or leaving the area concerned except for essential reasons, such as the closure already in force in Madrid and eight neighboring municipalities since early October.

SEE ALSO – Spain: thousands of demonstrators march in Madrid against new health restrictions

  • Partial confinement for Czechs

The Czech government has announced restrictions on the movement of people as well as the closure of shops and services to intensify the battle against Covid-19. All points of sale, except food stores and pharmacies, will be closed from Thursday until November 3.

  • Death of a volunteer testing a vaccine

A volunteer who participated in the tests of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford against Covid-19 died in Brazil, official sources announced on Wednesday, without specifying whether he had received the vaccine or a placebo. Oxford assured that phase 3 of the tests will continue, an independent committee having concluded that they do not pose a risk to the health of the volunteers.