For almost three weeks, containment has been implemented in France. When will the positive effects of these measures start to be visible?
Since March 17, the French have been ordered to stay at home. The containment measures that will last until April 15 and could be extended again. The objective? Reduce from 3 to “less than 1” the “basic reproduction number” of the virus, in other words the number of people infected by a patient, explained Dr. Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist at the Institut Pasteur, on March 28 at a press conference with the Prime Minister.
But when will containment begin to be effective? “In order to be able to estimate the impact of these containment measures on the main indicator, which is the number of daily cases of admissions to intensive care, we will have to wait a bit,” said Dr Arnaud Fontanet,
The specialist nevertheless specified that the first positive effects would begin to be visible “by the end of next week” , in other words within a few days. But according to a study by Imperial College London, these health measures are already paying off. 59,000 deaths in 11 European countries and 2,600 deaths in France would have been avoided thanks to confinement.
Containment: the example of China
In China, the effects of containment had also started to be felt after a few weeks. “Two weeks after the closure of Wuhan, the exact incubation period, the numbers (of contamination) started to drop,” said Sharon Lewin, professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne (Australia).
The results of confinement in France will therefore depend on the duration of its measures, their firmness, but also on how they are followed and respected by the population.
On March 10, nearly two months after the containment was put in place, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country had “practically stopped” the virus . But to achieve this, drastic measures had been put in place: in Wuhan, home of the coronavirus epidemic, strict and total containment had been established from February 17.