Epidemic ending, says controversial ‘cure’ medic

The controversial French infectious diseases expert who received global interest for his championing of the anti-malaria drug hydroxycholoroquine as a Covid-19 treatment, says the epidemic is coming to an end.

13 May 2020
By Liv Rowland

Prof Didier Raoult said in coming months we may see small outbreaks where some “super-contagious” person infects those around them but the epidemic as such was finishing.

As part of his evidence, he cited, in a YouTube video update, the fact that they had only one detected new case on Monday in Marseille despite the fact they carried out 1,200 tests.

Prof Raoult, a (non-active) member of the government’s scientific advistory council on Covid-19, said the progress of the disease in the city was following a ‘bell curve’, which a steady, marked decline.

“Perhaps it’s because we have systematically diagnosed and treated people, and we know the treatment diminishes the duration of carrying the virus,” he said.

The ‘curve’ of the disease in turns of the drop-off in cases was twice as good in Marseille as the global average, he said, while France as a whole was slightly worse than average.

Even so, he said the country as a whole was following the same trends and “we can say that more or less all over things are starting to stop now, whether it’s detected cases, or numbers hospitalised or in intensive care”.

Unfortunately we would continue to see some deaths at present, especially among those already in intensive care, Prof Raoult added.

However he said “this episode is starting to resolve and nowhere do we see a second wave”, although we would see “a few new cases here and there”.

Several new break-outs have nonetheless been reported around France in recent days, including in the Dordogne, at Clamart in the Hauts-de-Seine and in Vendée, and the WHO said this week that “extreme vigilance remains necessary”.

Paris police this week had to intervene to break up large groups on the first day of deconfinement, and some experts think that such overly-relaxed behaviour could be responsible for new contaminations.

The head of the Tenon infectious diseases hospital in Paris Gilles Pialoux told BFM TV: “People’s first reflex is to say ‘there were only three or four of us’, but each of those can affect three or four others.

“An American study started with nine people who had Covid-19 without symptoms, and they found 533 people had been in contact with them.”

A second wave remained not unavoidable, but “very likely”, he said. Two recent French studies also came to pessimistic conclusions about this.

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