France likely to face second coronavirus wave

The future of the epidemic in the short term is largely in the hands of citizens, the French Scientific Committee says 

4 August 2020
By Connexion journalist

France is 'highly likely' to face a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic later this year, government scientists have warned.

“The situation is precarious and we could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain,” the Conseil scientifique said in a statement published by the Ministry of Health.

“It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.”

The committee also warned that the epidemic could return even earlier if people fail to respect social distancing rules.

"The future of the epidemic in the short term is largely in the hands of citizens", the report said as it urged health authorities, "to put in place as of now specific prevention and precaution plans".

In the 42-page document the committee highlighted the need for a public information campaign to "remind people of the importance of wearing a mask and protection measures during the summer period to protect themselves and those around them".

France reported 3,376 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the last three days and the number of people being treated in intensive care for the disease started to rise.

Noting the "significant" rise in cases, the report stressed the need to reinforce the country’s “test-trace-isolate” system. "The virus is circulating in a more active way, with an accentuated loss of distancing measures and barrier measures: the balance is fragile," the 13-strong committee wrote in its report.

Cities such as Lille have already ordered people to wear masks in certain public places. The government report said this could be extended across the country.

Meanwhile, Paris city authorities want to make the wearing of face masks mandatory in certain outdoor areas, according to Le Monde.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is to put in a formal request with the Paris prefecture about ordering the use of face coverings in specific areas, the paper said.

Read more: France: Let young people develop immunity naturally

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