First green / red Covid-19 map of France revealed

The first of ongoing daily maps revealing the departments of France classified as green - meaning the coronavirus is circulating less - or red for where the epidemic is the most widespread was presented by the Health Minister Olivier Véran tonight.

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A third intermediary colour - orange - was also used on tonight's map.

A new map will be presented every evening in the run up to a decisive map shown on May 7. The map shown on May 7, which will only feature red and green, will be used to determine the way in which deconfinement measures will be applied to individual departments as the end of lockdown begins on May 11.

A broader deconfinement will be applied in green departments and more constraints and stricter action in red departments. Mr Véran stressed the provisional nature of the map.

In red departments "there will be the possibility of closing schools if necessary as well as closing a certain number of shops and outdoor places if necessary," he told the public-service media FranceInfo on April 29.

This first map is made up of combination of two sets of data - the number of consultations in emergency departments of cases made by people suspected to have Covid-19 and the capacity and 'stress levels' of local hospitals' resuscitation units.

Unsurprisingly, all of eastern France and the Ile-de-France region are shown in red, the central part of the country and the south-east in orange (an intermediary colour ranking) and much of the west of the country in green - apart from the Lot department. Three departments are contesting the choice of colour attributed to them. Authorities in Haute-Corse, Cher and Lot say they do not understand why their departments have been placed in red.

This colour plan was announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday as he outlined the government’s deconfinement plans to parliament.

"These maps are indicators that will be used to make decisions," said Mr Véran.

Moving forward three criteria will be used to classify departments as green or red: the rate of suspected new Covid-19 cases over a seven-day period, regional resuscitation capacities and the level of local preparedness for testing and detection of new cases from contact with infected people. This third criterion was not used for the first map.

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