COVID-19. Can the vaccination pass and wearing a mask become mandatory again?

Although the vaccine pass has been suspended since Monday, March 14, the issue is already on the table again. Can he return? (© Fabien Hisbak – Toulouse News)

Small tour and then return? From this Monday, March 14, 2022, skipping vaccinations officially suspended. This was the government’s promise, which was announced on Thursday, March 3, 2022, when all the lights were green.

Recently, even wondered if we were at the end of the epidemic. Several infectiologists told us about the transition to the “seasonality of the virus.” He had a good chance of developing a flu-like function, they said, returning to periods conducive to contagion.

However, in view of some numbers, which are increasing somewhat, anxiety among the French is growing. Are we waiting for a new wave? As well as missed vaccination, recently suspendedmaybe actually return?

Increasing incidence

For several days, the incidence is on the rise how it seemed to be declining inexorably since the end of January 2022. The incidence rate has increased by 16.5% from 3 to 10 March 2022.

With 629.2 cases per 100,000 populationwe are of course very far from 3809 of January 24, 2022, but still this small elevator several days in a row.

In a previous article, Olivier Bouchot, an infectious disease specialist at the Avicenna Hospital in Bobigny, explained that there could be cause for concern “when the numbers increase again for four or five consecutive days.”

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In the same vein, the one-week average of new daily cases is increasing again, helped by the high number of infections on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 (93,030).

Can I get my vaccination pass back?

Will these numbers force the government to back down? reintroduce some restrictive measures sanitary? Obviously not.

According to the Directorate General of Health (DGS), contacted, this is not plannedat this stage, restore the obligation to wear a mask and a vaccination pass.” The decision, which the authorities explain by the fall in the “load on hospitals” and the fact that “the epidemic is gradually on the decline.”

Indeed, since February 6, 2022, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has been decreasing day by day.

Cautious infectious disease specialists

In mid-February 2022, when the vaccination suspension was just a rumor, several infectious disease experts warned to the fact that it was “perhaps a little premature. »

A “risk bet”, even in the opinion of François Briqueur, former head of the department of infectious and tropical diseases at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, joined by Henri Agout, former director of the virology department of the same hospital.

It feels like we’re nearing the end. But we are not immune from the emergence of a new option.

François BricoeurFormer Head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital.

Between February 28 and March 6, 2022, it was the BA.2 subvariant that became the predominant new infection in France, according to Public Health France.

New variant and relaxed restrictions

Thus, the small spike in the epidemic can be attributed to this new variant, as well as the relaxation of health restrictions.

As soon as you lighten the measurements, there is a slight mechanical bounce.

Olivier BouchotInfectious Diseases Doctor at the Avicenna Hospital in Bobigny

In addition to the new measures this Monday, March 14, 2022, as of February 28, the wearing of a mask is no longer mandatory in places subject to vaccination.

Another example in the same direction: since the first easing of restrictions a few weeks ago, infectious disease specialists have noticed a surge in influenza.

“We still have winter”

Manuel Schibler, an infectious disease specialist at the University Hospital of Geneva, also thinks that “We still have winter” to explain this small increase. It’s colder in winter, we’re more indoors, which means more promiscuity and therefore more pollution.

What’s more, the DGS reminds us: “It’s not because the mask is no longer mandatory, it’s no longer recommended.” And many of them want to keep wearing it. She thinks in particular about the times when barrier gestures cannot be respected.

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