This Friday, March 27, France is experiencing its eleventh day of confinement. If Emmanuel Macron had initially announced a period of fifteen days renewable, there is a good chance that the confinement will be prolonged and for good reason. As evidenced by Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist and director of the Global Health Department at the Pasteur Institute, the effects of confinement cannot yet be observed.
“Unfortunately it will not be possible to see the impact of containment before one to two weeks. The number of cases which is reported is very dependent on the number of tests which are carried out, indications of this test and in fact, does not translate the epidemic dynamics “he explains before continuing,” The reason for the confinement was to protect resuscitation services that are saturated. When we can say that containment has an impact this is the moment when we will finally see the number of patients admitted to intensive care decrease throughout the national territory (…). And that, I think we will be able to see it in a week, ten days perhaps but not before. “
The permanent discrepancy between the efforts made and the results they can give is for Arnaud Fontanet, also a member of the Scientific Council, one of the reasons which would push the government to prolong the confinement: “The reason why we did this advice, which was to propose containment for a period of at least six weeks from March 15, is that it takes three weeks before people who were infected at the time that containment was put in place, eventually develop the disease and after, the complications that would bring them to resuscitation “indicates the epidemiologist.
“Heavy resuscitation, which will last 3 to 4 weeks, and in fact it is a six week period that will have an impact likely overloading resuscitation services over the long term. “
The extension of containment, inevitable?
If the effects of confinement cannot be measured before a week or even ten days, as Arnaud Fontanet points out, prolonging confinement then seems to be the most reasonable solution, even inevitable. “The extension of containment is motivated by the need to preserve resuscitation services with inertia. When we have additional data in about ten days, we will be better able to project ourselves on what will be the total duration of confinement, necessary before having reached our objective which is to unclog the intensive care services “.
“But as we said for us, it will be very difficult not to go until six weeks after the date of March 15, “insists the specialist.