Jean Castex on Tuesday castigated the “sterile controversies” related to France’s vaccine strategy, while Olivier Véran promised “to amplify, accelerate and simplify” the campaign, by opening it initially firefighters and home helpers over 50 and by setting up a list for those who wish to be vaccinated.
Prime Minister Jean Castex denounced this Tuesday in Toulon “sterile controversies” which “have never saved any life”, at a time when the executive is accused of slowness and lack of anticipation on the vaccination strategy against Covid-19.
The head of government, remained silent in recent days under this deluge of criticism, confirmed that he would hold a press conference on Thursday with the Minister of Health Olivier Véran and that he would speak “at length” on “the deployment of vaccination ”, during a press briefing after a speech to elected officials from the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region.
“We must do it seriously, in the long term, in consistency, in unity, far from sterile controversies which have never saved any life, have never developed any territory, have never sealed national cohesion ”, Affirmed Jean Castex in the presence in particular of the president LR of the PACA region, Renaud Muselier. “I know the weariness of our fellow citizens in the face of this never-ending health crisis” but “it is essential to hold a firm and consistent line over time,” he pleaded.
“Amplify, accelerate, simplify”
For his part, the French Minister of Health however promised this Tuesday “to amplify, accelerate and simplify” the vaccination campaign against the Coronavirus, by opening it initially to firefighters and home helpers over 50 years old. The vaccination of people aged 75 and over who are not accommodated in nursing homes will be authorized before the end of January, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran announced on Tuesday. “That’s 5 million people,” said the minister. He also announced the expansion of the vaccination campaign to firefighters and home helpers over 50, for the moment reserved for residents of nursing homes and caregivers of at least 50 years.
Olivier Véran, who was interviewed on RTL, also promised that 300 vaccination centers would be operational as of next week. “The cruising speed of vaccination will catch up with that of our neighbors,” he promised, adding that Prime Minister Jean Castex would give a press conference on the subject on Thursday. “The cruising speed of vaccination” against the Covid-19 in France will “join that of our neighbors in the coming days”, promised Tuesday the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, in an attempt to respond to criticism of the slowness the start of this campaign. “We exceeded 2,000 vaccinations yesterday, by Thursday we will increase again very significantly, we will be on an exponential curve”, declared the minister on RTL, assuring that France would “amplify, accelerate and simplify ”Its vaccination strategy.
The minister also detailed a new measure at the microphone of RTL. French people who wish to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to register “We will open in the coming days a possible registration for French people who want it by internet, by phone no doubt, and why not by the application ‘TousAntiCovid ‘; so that the French who wish to be vaccinated can let them know, register and can make appointments ”, indicated the Minister of Health.
The shadow of the British variant
A dozen suspected or proven cases ”of the British variant of the coronavirus have so far been spotted in France, said the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on Tuesday, stressing that its likely greater transmissibility“ worries ”the authorities. “At this stage, we have ten or so suspected or proven cases of the English variant,” said Véran on RTL. “It is a variant that worries us and for which we are deploying very significant logistical and diagnostic resources,” he continued. “We look at it like milk on fire”, he insisted, recalling that “all people returning to France from England must have been tested”. “There are quarantines when there are doubts,” he said.
England and Scotland announced Monday their total containment in the face of the surge of the Covid-19 epidemic, attributed to the new variant of the virus circulating in the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland and Wales had already instituted their third lockdown just after Christmas. “It is clear that we need to do more” to “take control” of this more contagious variant, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
Detected in November in the UK, the B.1.1.7 variant, now known as VOC 202012/01, quickly spread across the UK and was then detected in dozens of countries around the world. According to the first data, it is significantly more contagious than the classic virus. Even if it does not appear to be inherently more dangerous, the fact that it is more transmissible increases the risk of hospitals being saturated with Covid-19 patients. In France, a first case had been confirmed in France on December 25, in Tours, on a Frenchman who arrived from London a few days earlier. A second case was detected in Corsica on a person returning from London, the Corsica Regional Health Agency said on Monday. Another variant that is arguably more transmissible has also emerged in South Africa, where it is now the majority.
Health authorities said last Thursday that a first case of contamination with this South African variant had been detected in France, in a man returning from South Africa and living in the Haut-Rhin.