The Minister of Health Olivier Véran unveiled in the JDD the outlines of the government’s strategy to fight the coronavirus during the holidays.
The pressure continues to decrease in hospitals and all epidemic signals continue to decline in France. However, the government wants to make it known that it does not intend to release the pressure. While in the coming weeks, the French will be scattered across the country for the holidays, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran exposed in the Sunday Newspaper the new stage of the device intended to “test-trace-isolate” positive cases. With the feeling of having reversed the trend in recent months: “It is no longer the virus that stalks us but we that stalk it», Welcomed the Minister.
Self-tests distributed on the beaches
Relatively little used in France, the self-tests will be distributed free of charge on beaches, campsites, hotels and sports halls, announced Olivier Véran. “This is not to replace PCR tests or antigen tests, but to add an extra mesh to our net», He explained to the JDD. Thus, two million kits will be used in July and August when going on vacation or arriving at vacation spots.
In detail, 500,000 self-tests will be delivered to the prefectures for precarious populations and 5 million to leisure centers and summer camps. The National Education will also provide students with it the day before holidays, while state stocks will supply the private and public sectors.
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New experiments for sniffer dogs
In the coming days, two experiments will also be launched in a port and an airport to determine the feasibility of scent screening by sniffer dogs. “We now have proof that it works in real life thanks with very promising results obtained by research teams and AP-HP», Welcomed Olivier Véran to the JDD.
Last Sunday, the weekly already announced that the Ministry of Health had authorized the training of hundreds of dogs capable of detecting the virus by smell, after the publication of an encouraging study carried out by the national veterinary school of Alfort (Val de Marne). “A larger deployment will be carried out during the summer if these results prove to be conclusive.», Commented the Minister.
“Covid referents” on vacation spots
For the summer holidays, Olivier Véran also announced the deployment of 2000 “anti-Covid mediatorsWhich will advise the French on screening, isolation or vaccination. In support of the Health Insurance brigades, they will also be able to carry out tests, health surveys and provide home isolation assistance. These referents “will be present absolutely everywhere: on vacation spots, in campsites, in colonies», Detailed the minister.
A “Japanese-style contact-tracing”
The government also plans to change its tracking strategy for the summer months. Until now, only contact cases of an infected person were followed by the Health Insurance. From the beginning of July, these surveys will also be carried out upstream, to find out the origin of the infection and its circumstances. “We get ready to go and find all the chains of contamination“, Welcomed Olivier Véran, welcoming”much more efficient Japanese-style retrospective tracing».
Faced with the Indian variant, more controlled isolation
While the Indian variant, called Delta, worries the health authorities, Olivier Véran has decided to crack down on the isolation of infected people. “If a person contaminated by the Indian variant refuses to respond to the Health Insurance teams or to respect the sheltering instructions, an alert is sent to the prefects and they can take isolation measures.», Explains the minister to JDD. A measurement “more coercive“That the government assumes, because it cannot”not take the risk of starting a new epidemic wave».
The Minister of Health also announced the creation of territorial isolation support cells throughout France for infected people who could not stay away from their loved ones in too cramped accommodation or during holidays. .
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