public health and political courage

The arguments against tobacco and alcohol have never failed. However, in the years following the adoption of the Évin Law, this major advance in collective health was the subject of numerous attacks.

The Covid-19 pandemic constantly reminds us: if public health is a matter for experts, it is also (above all?) A problem of political decision-making. It is not indifferent to recall this at the time when the Evin law celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Because this emblematic law is a model of rationality and political courage.

Public health arguments have never failed, yesterday as today, to act against the two major determinants of avoidable mortality and morbidity: tobacco and alcohol. The experts’ observation was final, and it remains so. Tobacco and alcohol consumption, although less than in the past, is still the direct cause of 115,000 preventable deaths per year today. This figure alone should spark a jump, as it did thirty years ago.

In 1990-1991, the mobilization of five experts, baptized by the press the “Five Wise Men” (Gérard Dubois, Claude Got, François Grémy, Albert Hirsch and Maurice Tubiana), enabled

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The secret of the centenarians who defeated the coronavirus

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – They are more resilient than young people to the virus, and many of them had to fight the Spanish flu first. Explanations from an immunologist.

By Elena Dusi (The Republic)

They have just crushed the coronavirus under the weight of their 107 years. A lady from Caorle was declared cured on New Year’s Eve. Around the same time as another lady of the same age from Loro Piceno. But these are not the oldest citizens to have survived the coronavirus: last September and June, respectively, a 108-year-old man from Genoa and a woman of the same age from Milan also managed to knock out the virus. record, however, goes to the Spaniard Maria Branyas, born in 1907 and resident of a Catalan retirement home. The latter was probably infected during the party organized for her 113th birthday, but only developed a few mild symptoms.

Many cured centenarians remember beating the Spanish flu a century ago. ” What if it was the result of residual immunity? Claudio Franceschi, a professor, wonders

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how many patients in intensive care?

The beds occupied in the hospital are crucial figures for reflecting the daily strain on the health system. During the first wave, the peak of Covid-19 patients in the hospital was reached in mid-April (the 14th), with more than 32,131 beds occupied in France. In intensive care, it was April 8, with 7,000 people, when the initial capacity was then 5,000 beds.

During the second wave, it was in mid-November (the 10th) that the number of occupied beds was highest (31,477). Resuscitation stays for Covid are, on the other hand, much less numerous at this stage than at the height of the crisis of the first semester, with a rate of intensive care admissions of 400 to 500 people per day.

The big difference between spring and today is better care for Covid patients, treated early with high flow oxygen. They are given anticoagulants to prevent embolism and stroke, and they are given corticosteroids to calm inflammatory conditions.


how is the “RO” parameter calculated

The effective reproduction rate of the virus is a fundamental indicator of epidemic surveillance.

The R0 is the number which represents the average reproduction rate (or the average speed of contagion) of a disease, that is to say how many people on average a single infected individual risks infecting around him.

It is calculated by multiplying three factors: 1 / transmissibility, which depends on the mode of transmission of the disease (contact, droplets…) but also on hygiene and prevention measures in the population.

2/ Le contact social, that is to say the number of people crossed on average per day by each individual and the degree of contact between them (kiss, handshake, physical proximity, etc.)

3 / The duration of the contagious period, specific to each virus, and which varies between people and the degree of infection.

If it is greater than 1, the number of new cases increases every day: the dynamic is exponential, it is runaway. If it is equal to 1, the number of new cases is constant over time: the dynamics are linear, the epidemic under control. If it is less than 1, the number of new cases gradually decreases and the virus eventually disappears.


Masks transformed into rules for schoolchildren, Meudon launches into recycling

25 collection points have been distributed in Meudon in order to recycle surgical, FFP2 and fabric masks.

With the Covid-19 epidemic, new polluting waste has appeared. When they are not on our face, the masks are sometimes thrown on the ground. To fight against this urban pollution, the city of Meudon, in Hauts-de-Seine, is launching a collection operation with the aim of recycling surgical, FFP2 and fabric masks.

This is not the first operation of this kind in Meudon. The City is working to fight against polluting waste in urban areas – starting in April 2019 with the collection of cigarette butts. With the Covid-19 epidemic, it is now the masks that litter the ground. According to the Zero Waste association, wearing two masks a day generates around 400 tonnes of plastic waste. To overcome this problem, 25 collection points have been set up near markets, schools and administrative buildings in Meudon. An unprecedented and experimental operation. The principle is simple: once the mask is used, the inhabitants simply have to drop it off in one of the terminals. After quarantine of 7 days, a second life awaits him.

From masks to rulers for schoolchildren

The recycled masks will be transformed into rulers, squares and protractors made for the students of Meudon. If this ecological resolution already appears attractive in terms of recycling, a second initiative is behind this process. After the waste has been quarantined, the masks are collected, disinfected and then sorted by the association for the professional and human integration and reintegration of the disabled (ANRH). Recognized as a public utility, it allows people with disabilities to “to contribute locally to global issues».

Once this step is completed, the masks are sent to the start-up Plaxtil, in Châtellerault, responsible for carrying out the transformation. The company has developed a new polymer composite material. Injected into a mold, it then becomes a new recycled object. The start-up plans to collect 10,000 to 15,000 masks in Meudon – a figure far from the 120,000 hoped by the town hall to extend the initiative. This approach is not only ecological. It is “raise students’ awareness of recycling and environmental issues“But also to promote”circular economy».


the only hospital in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon disrupted by a cluster

The French archipelago of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, which had recorded only 16 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, has been facing several contaminations since Friday, January 22, which restrict the activity of its only hospital and forced the state high school to close some classes.

Four positive cases of Covid-19 were identified on Friday by the Territorial Health Administration, announced the prefecture of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. The first two concern two doctors on mission for a week at the François Dunan Hospital Center in Saint-Pierre. Another hospital practitioner, as well as his high school son, were infected.

This is the first time that the archipelago has recorded endogenous cases resulting from non-familial transmission. The two medical specialists and the emergency physician having been in contact with patients in the days preceding their test, the health authorities have already identified “at least 65 contact cases»At the hospital, and at the high school where the fourth identified case is attending. PCR tests began immediately to assess their positivity and will continue on Saturday January 23.

As a precaution, the Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon hospital has invited its non-essential staff to stay at home and has restricted its activity to essential interventions. Health authorities have also ordered a comprehensive testing campaign among hospital staff, more than 300 people. In view of the limited local capacities, part of the samples will be sent and analyzed in neighboring Canada, in an approved laboratory in Halifax.

One of the four positive cases being a final year student at the Emile Letournel high school in Saint-Pierre, the national education services also decided to close the general terminal classes for two weeks, and re-established the obligation to wear mask for school children six years and older.

For security reasons, the authorities have also recommended the cancellation of all sporting and cultural events until further notice and invited the 6,000 residents to limit their social interactions and scrupulously respect barrier gestures. Bars and restaurants can ‘for the moment»Continue their activities, in this territory where restrictions have been lifted since the end of the first confinement.


Vaccinations suspended for two days in the Bas-Rhin

Faced with delivery delays, the Grand Est Regional Health Agency has postponed the vaccinations scheduled for early next week.

A possible vaccine shortage could emerge in the Bas-Rhin. The Grand Est Regional Health Agency (ARS) announced this week that the opening of several vaccination centers would be postponed in the department. At issue: “Decreases in deliveries of Pfizer vaccines over the next two weeks”. Four centers, in the municipalities of Wasselone, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Schiltigheim and Lingolsheim, will open their doors on January 28, with a “8 day lag”. The ARS also reports a “Postponement of vaccinations scheduled for Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 January” while waiting for the next vaccine delivery. Appointments will be integrated “In the schedules of the coming weeks”. In the rest of the Grand Est region, some centers will close “Temporarily Thursday and Friday” in the Marne, while in Haute-Marne, closures are also under consideration “for several days”.

In Strasbourg, 600 meetings had to be postponed, reports France Bleu Alsace. “There is tension on the number of vaccines, the Bas-Rhin has been very proactive, 5,500 appointments have been made in a few days”, explains Alexandre Feltz, doctor and Strasbourg elected official in charge of health, interviewed by the radio. According to him, vaccinations should resume Wednesday with “a lighter intensity». “The Haut-Rhin can continue to vaccinate but with a lower intensity”, he continues. The Latest News from Alsace explained Wednesday evening that no more appointments were available for a first injection in any of the Alsatian centers open on the Doctolib platform. Internet users are referred to making appointments by telephone, which is itself saturated.

We are in the dark. We open we close. We adapt according to the number of doses we receive.

Rémi Heym, communication director of Rouen University Hospital

Several other regions are unable to cope with the influx of demands. In Alençon, the ARS of Normandy asked the hospital on Tuesday to close its vaccination center which had been open for two weeks, reports West France . The number of vaccine doses available was again not sufficient to meet the appointments. Only second injections are possible. For lack of dose, the Rouen University Hospital was also forced to close a vaccination center. “Supplies are not stabilized”, explains Rémi Heym, communication director of the CHU, interviewed by France 3 Normandie. “We are in the dark. We open we close. We adapt according to the number of doses we receive. We can no longer vaccinate massively. ” In Nord and Pas-de-Calais, several appointments had to be canceled, vaccination centers having received fewer doses than initially planned, according to The voice of the North. The opening of a new center in Calais has even been postponed by a week.

Vaccination against Covid-19 has widened since Monday to all over 75s, amid fears of a shortage. Because the American group Pfizer, associated with the German laboratory BioNTech, warned last week that it was not going to be able, until early February, to provide EU countries with the weekly quantities to which it had obtained. engaged. The laboratory invokes modifications to be made in the production line of the Belgian factory in Puurs, which “Require additional regulatory approvals”, Pfizer explained. “The schedule calls for a drop in delivery of 140,000 doses this week and, starting next week, we will have 520,000 weekly deliveries”, as initially planned, detailed Monday the Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, on CNews. According to her, the accumulated delay will be caught up “At the end of the first trimester”.

»SEE ALSO – “Chez Mauricette”: in Poissy, immersion in the heart of a vaccination center against Covid-19


Coronavirus, what you need to know this week: the threat of variants

Vaccination against Covid-19 broadens its audience but the progression of variants prevents any relaxation.


Vaccination does not mean the end of restrictions. While the government currently favors the the state, the progression of English variant raises the threat of re-containment. But the Brazilian variant he too is wreaking havoc, especially in Manaus in the Amazon where he sows doubt on collective immunity. A certainty in France, the excess mortality in 2020 is “beyond measure” and thelife expectancy had not recorded such a decline since 1945. Enough to increase the impatience of the French to get vaccinated. The vaccine doses still need to be available. In short, we will still have to keep our masks for many months, but not just any. The craft masks are in the crosshairs. And again, even with the masks students are deprived of amphis. Result, they are in the street.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro

1. The coronavirus variants worry the world

Residents of Manaus in Brazil mourn their dead after a surge in Covid-19 cases. BRUNO KELLY / REUTERS

Faced with variants, reconfinement. With 26,784 new Covid-19 contaminations detected in 24 hours, a record since November, and 2,839 people hospitalized in intensive care, the epidemic situation remains very fragile. It could have stabilized if the English variant, which progresses at an exponential dynamic, had not destroyed this optimistic scenario. According to models, the number of hospitalizations will exceed the peak of the second wave in March if no additional measures are taken. Containment in the UK and Ireland has managed to reverse the incidence curve. After a defense council yesterday, the executive maintains the the state on restrictive measures but the French are ready. Three quarters of them are already resigned to be re-defined according to a survey. In reality, three variants frighten the world. They come to us from England, South Africa and Brazil. If it seems certain that the English variant is more contagious, the evolutions of the South African and Brazilian variants are more uncertain. The latter is suspected in the new disaster that hits the city of Manaus. Its greater contagiousness would be the only explanation for the surge in cases and deaths that is wreaking havoc in this city located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Manaus has already been badly affected in the spring with perhaps 76% of the population infected. What to call into question the strategy of collective immunity.

Mortality on the rise, marriages on the decline: the Covid harvest in 2020. During this year marked by the Covid 19 epidemic, the increase in deaths is “Beyond measure”, notes INSEE in its annual demographic report. 667,400 deaths from all causes were recorded in 2020 in France, or 9% more than in 2018 or 2019, notes the publication of the statistical institute, even if we do not know the exact proportion of deaths linked to Covid. One thing is certain: 93% of Covid victims are over 65, according to Public Health France (SpF), while the average age of Covid victims is 82 and half of the dead are over 85. Another bad news is that life expectancy has dropped slightly, by 0.4 years for women and 0.5 years for men. It could even, for the latter, be 0.6 years taking into account the latest death figures. This is the biggest loss of life expectancy since 1945 for men. “You have to go back to World War II to record such a decline, underlines Michel Guillot, researcher at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED). And the pandemic is also taking its part in marriages which show a historic decline of -34.1% compared to 2019.

2. Vaccination and masks under debate

Category 2 fabric masks and homemade masks are not recommended by the High Council of Public Health. FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS

A vaccine, and fast! «With the acceleration of the vaccination campaign in nursing homes. We will have largely reached the million French people vaccinated by the end of the month», Declared Olivier Véran the Minister of Health whereas yesterday there were 692,777 French people vaccinated with a first dose. On Monday, the vaccination campaign was extended to people over 75 years old and to those with pathologies likely to cause serious forms of Covid-19. According to the ministry, nearly 500,000 vaccinations are scheduled this week. Quirks and controversies accompanied this new phase: difficulty in making an appointment, delay in delivery of doses, logistical failures denounced by mayors. The problem according to a general practitioner interviewed by Le Figaro is that “the authorities have made eligible population segments larger than the first orders“. However, the French are now mostly in favor of the vaccine, which was not the case before the holidays. Faced with the impatience of populations to be vaccinated, the delay in production announced by Pfizer is therefore putting European governments under pressure. Italy intends to take legal action against the American laboratory.

New debate on masks. Entangled in the controversy over vaccines, we would have forgotten our masks. They remind us of this week with the latest advice from the High Council of Public Health (HSCP) which recommends avoiding category 2 fabric masks just like homemade ones. Not sufficiently filtering, they would not be effective against the new variants of the more contagious coronavirus. The Ministry of Health has not yet decided. In fabric, surgical, FFP2, which masks to trust, one wonders? Le Figaro make the point. Wearing the FFP2 mask, the most filtering, is not however recommended for everyday life. A downside, judge journalist Anne-Laure Frémont, who recalls the month of March 2020 when the mask was not considered useful in order to preserve stocks for caregivers.

3. University in peril, winter sports too

For lack of amphis, the youth are in the streets. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

The students crack. They were a few hundred, surrounded by many journalists. The students demonstrated yesterday afternoon in the Latin Quarter, in Paris, to proclaim their despair at the closed universities. For young people, it is the great depression. The announcement of a resumption of tutorials and half-group from January 25 for first year students only had the effect of a Scottish shower. “I am disappointed, but not surprised. Schoolchildren, college students, high school students, preparatory and BTS students can go to class, but students do not have access to lecture halls, where they are nevertheless seated all day at two meters distance ”, comments a student. The president’s response will not reassure them: “I’m telling you frankly: we’ll have to hold on“, He wrote to a young student who had challenged him on social networks. Those who regretted that we talk more about ski resorts than students can be reassured. They did not succeed. The ski lifts will remain closed on February 1 and most likely throughout the season. The announcement was made yesterday by the Secretary of State for Tourism.

4. Curfew, instructions for use

Partly deconfined, France is under curfew since December 15. It is possible to move around freely during the day but leaving your home is prohibited between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., under penalty of a fine of 135 euros. A schedule imposed on the entire metropolitan area since January 16.

There are exceptional reasons for which a certificate must be presented.

  • Business trips.
  • Consultations and care
  • Travel for compelling family reasons.
  • Travel for people with disabilities and their companions.
  • Judicial or administrative summons.
  • Participation in missions of general interest
  • Travel related to transit
  • Short trips for the needs of pets.

5. Reflexes to keep

A few simple actions 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 through 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.

6. 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 order 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. If necessary, schedule a follow-up remote consultation with your doctor. 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.


the United States is stepping up its fight against the pandemic, Beijing is partly reconfiguring itself

UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – New reports, new measures, highlights: Le Figaro takes stock of the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

As Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House signals the return of the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world is taking new steps to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus and of its new variants: confinements in China, curfew in the Netherlands … In Europe, new border controls are being discussed. To not miss any of the latest highlights related to Covid-19, Le Figaro takes stock of the latest news from this Thursday, January 21.

  • The United States steps up the fight against the pandemic

Invested in Washington on Wednesday, Joe Biden reaffirmed that the fight against the coronavirus was among the country’s priorities. Among the first measures, he ordered the return of the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO), after the withdrawal decided by his predecessor Donald Trump in 2020, and signed a decree making the wearing of the mask and mandatory physical distancing for US officials working in federal buildings.

The coronavirus toll in the United States exceeds that of American soldiers killed in World War II. There have been 405,400 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The most bereaved country in absolute terms, the United States is also the most affected country in terms of the number of cases (more than 24.4 million).

  • Beijing is partly reconfiguring itself

Chinese authorities on Wednesday reported the first cases in Beijing linked to the British variant. Beijing announced the strict containment of five residences in Daxing, a suburb in the south of the capital, after the discovery of new cases. This confinement concerns a few tens of thousands of people, a small fraction of the 21 million inhabitants of the city. Several hundred patients have been identified in recent weeks in the north and northeast of the country, where millions of people have been confined or must restrict their movements.

  • In France, ski resorts remain closed

In France, it will still not be possible to go downhill skiing in the country. The authorities decided on Wednesday not to reopen the ski lifts on February 1. During a press conference organized by telephone this Wednesday, January 20, the Secretary of State for Tourism extinguished the meager hope of winter sport professionals. “There will be no reopening of ski resorts on February 1, and the prospect of reopening in mid or late February seems highly unlikely.», He affirmed.

  • European summit, border controls under discussion

In Europe, the Twenty-Seven meet Thursday evening for a new summit by videoconference devoted to the fight against the pandemic, at a time when several countries, like Germany, toughen their measures to try to counter the spread of the new strains. Response to variants, acceleration of vaccination and establishment of a common certificate are on the agenda. The French government also said on Wednesday it was in favor of health controls at intra-European borders, an option that German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not rule out on Tuesday.

  • The variants continue their routes

Coronavirus mutations continue to spread around the world. The British variant, much more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, is now identified in 60 countries and territories, according to the WHO. The South African variant spreads more slowly and is present in 23 countries and territories, 3 more than on 12 January. But it risks posing another problem: several new studies seem to confirm that, unlike the English variant, it risks at least partially escaping the expected protection of vaccines against Covid-19. WHO has also indicated that it is monitoring the dissemination of two other variants that have appeared in Brazil, P1, reported in the state of Amazonas and also detected in Japan in four people from Brazil, and another variant.

  • A curfew in the Netherlands

The Netherlands have announced a curfew from Friday until February 10, which will run from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. The measure should make it possible to reduce home contact and combat the phenomenon of clandestine parties, according to the Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge. Until now, the Dutch could accommodate two people over the age of 13 in their homes. This number is reduced to a single contact person.

  • Acceleration of vaccinations around the world

To date, according to an AFP count, at least 60 countries or territories, comprising 61% of the world’s population, have launched their vaccination campaign. But 11 countries concentrate 90% of the injected doses. The Russian authorities have filed an application for registration in the European Union of the Sputnik V vaccine and are awaiting a “first examination (of the documents sent, note) in February”. In Turkey, the authorities announced that they had vaccinated more than a million people in less than a week.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: in Reims, vaccination is moving thanks to the “Vacci’bus”

  • Record of deaths in UK

The UK hit a new daily death record from Covid-19, with 1,820 dead on Wednesday. The United Kingdom announced that it will close its borders to arrivals from all countries in South America and Portugal as of Wednesday due to the new Brazilian variant. In Ireland, the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled for March 17 in Dublin has been canceled for the second year in a row.

  • Maintenance of the Tokyo Olympics

Despite the global health situation, officials for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for this summer after being postponed last year, said they were “inflexible” on this new calendar, not excluding, however, that the competitions are held without spectators.

  • Emergency situation in Brazil

In Manaus, Amazonas state, doctors are struck by the virulence of the second wave, which has overwhelmed hospitals, facing a dramatic shortage of oxygen, and question the link with the Brazilian variants . The rapidity of the deterioration of the state of health of the patients is surprising.

The pandemic has killed a total of at least 2,058,226 people around the world, according to an AFP report on Wednesday.


these three variants that scare the world

DECRYPTION – After the discovery of a strain carrying many mutations in England, made responsible for the explosion of the epidemic, scientists are worried about the emergence of South African and Brazilian lines.

Since the start of the epidemic, the Covid-19 virus has continued to accumulate mutations giving rise to a very large number of different variants. Since most had more or less the same characteristics, the general public was not too familiar with these subtleties. But that changed with the discovery in England in mid-December of a much more contagious variant. The researchers then suspect a particular mutation among the twenty that distinguishes him, N501Y, to be at the origin of this increased contagiousness.

Four days later, another suspect variant is discovered in South Africa: if it does not have the same combination of mutations at all, it also carries this N501Y mutation. Shortly afterwards, he was discovered to be carrying a second E484K, which was also worrying because it seemed to allow him to escape, at least in part, the most effective antibodies produced by the recovered patients.

Last week, it was a third variant, detected in Brazil this time, which made

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