in France, a second wave which could be higher than the...


The intensive care unit where patients with Covid-19 are treated, at the Melun-Senart hospital center (Seine-et-Marne), on October 30. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

Will the containment put in place on Friday, October 30, be enough to regain control of the Covid-19 epidemic by Christmas? It’s unlikely, according to two documents released by the scientific council over the weekend. ” There is (…) many months ahead of us with an extremely difficult situation ”, he warns in his latest opinion, published Friday evening. “We can make a hypothesis of an exit of the wave at the end of the year or at the beginning of the year 2021”, he specifies, pointing out that several waves could follow one another during the winter.

Their analysis is based on new models from the Institut Pasteur, carried out from hospitalization data up to October 29. They reveal that up to 9,000 patients with Covid-19 could be hospitalized in intensive care at the peak of the epidemic – against more than 7,100 during the first wave, on April 8.

In their “reference scenario”, the scientists estimate that the rate of reproduction of the virus – the “R 0” – could fall to 0.9 – against 0.7 during the first containment – but they also envisage a “pessimistic scenario », With an R 0 to 1.2, barely lower than it is today. The number of patients in intensive care could reach 6,600 by mid-November and peak at more than 8,600 at the peak of the epidemic. “There are great uncertainties about the effectiveness of the new, less restrictive measures”, warns Simon Cauchemez, modeller at the Institut Pasteur and member of the scientific council.

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In the “reference” scenario, around 6,000 patients could be hospitalized in intensive care from November 12, and up to 6,600 in the “pessimistic” scenario, more than the 6,300 beds available to date. Declined by region, these models show a very critical situation in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes with more than 1,300 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 expected in intensive care for only 795 beds available, and in Provence-Alpes-Côte d ‘ Azur (PACA) with 685 patients with Covid-19 anticipated for 610 beds. In Ile-de-France, almost all of the 1,425 beds could be occupied.


Prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed

All these projections start from the hypothesis of an impact ” instantaneous “ re-containment. But s‘It takes several days for behavior to change, the number of intensive care hospitalizations could be even higher. And the journey of patients to the hospital can also play a role: the probability of being transferred to intensive care when hospitalized and the length of stay in the department have a very significant impact on the number of beds occupied at peak, at rise as well as fall.

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