Doctors say French State must provide Covid isolation spaces

Doctors and a large health organisation have said that comfortable places to quarantine should be provided to help avoid a third lockdown next year

24 November 2020
By Joanna York

In an open letter, leading doctors and Assos Santé – a collective of 85 health organisations – have called on President Macron to better isolate people sick with Covid-19, by providing quarantine facilities for those who need them. 

The wrote that this would prevent a “stop-and-go” approach to confinement, which may result in a third national lockdown next year. 

Four strategies to avoid third wave

They suggested four strategies for avoiding a third wave of Covid-19, including the isolation spaces, in news source Le Parisien:

  • More rapid antigen Covid testing, with follow-up PCR tests
  • A complete ban on movement and visiting others for 7-15 days for infected people and contact cases
  • Increased use of the TousAntiCovid app
  • Dedicated, protected, comfortable spaces to be made available for those who do need to isolate, where they will be provided with necessary resources including a contact person to make sure that they are getting the health care they need, and to help them keep in touch with family

They also proposed that salaries or financial compensation should be guaranteed for all people who need to isolate and that a network of volunteers should be created to help people who are isolating with errands such as shopping and getting medicine. 

The letter stated: “It is worth having strict restrictions for individuals on movement and contact, along with good protection in an adapted and secure place, instead of another long, general confinement for everyone.”

WHO fears third wave in Europe in 2021

This comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed fears over a third wave of Covid-19 in Europe.

Special envoy from the WHO, Dr David Nabarro, said Europe had failed to “develop necessary infrastructure over summer” to prevent the second wave, and potential third wave of the virus.

He said: “Today we have the second wave. If they do not develop the necessary infrastructure, we will have a third wave at the beginning of next year.”

The doctor stressed the need for contact tracing to break contamination chains and pointed to South Korea as a good example of successful contact tracing to combat Covid-19: “People [there] are highly committed, and have adopted behaviours to hamper the virus. They maintain social distance, wear masks, isolate when they are sick, wash their hands and surfaces the virus can collect on. They protect the most vulnerable groups.”

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