April will be the cruellest month. That, in effect, is Macron's warning but also promise to France tonight. One more big effort in the next month and the vax campaign will then start to kick in and save us.
Present restrictions are not enough. We will lose control unless we act. But no panic. For next month a big new effort is necessary.
Reinforcements for intensive care. Icu already lifted from 5,000 beds 70 7,000 will be extended to 10,000. Existing lockdown light in 19 départements will be extended from Saturday to all metropolitan France.
In other words non essential shops and travel beyond 10k, or in certain circs, 35k, will be banned for one month from Sat.
Schools closed for 3 weeks but courses will continue on line for 1 week. All schools on spring hols for next 2 weeks. Then lycées and collèges will remain closed until early May. IE much as I said earlier.
Thanks to vaxes, an end to crisis us in sight, Macron says. 8m Fr people have had one dose already. Roll out to be accelerated and accelerated, again.
There have been mistakes and slowness, he says, but they are being put right. Cascading down from oldest was right choice.
250000 health and emergency workers are being mobilised. From 16 April 0lus 60s wilk be eligible. From' mid lay plus 50s. Macron apologises profoundly for delays for, older people who have failed to get appointments. This will be put tight with an emergency number etc
Coming to a close now. From mid May he promises the beginnibg of opening for cafe terraces, culture etc. We have made errors but we have stood firm and we have learned. April is, month which will give us a route to hope. We will hold firm.
So... Enough ? Too much? Too late?
Fairly strict but nothing like the first lockdown a year ago. Essentially another gamble but it may work.
One important thing I missed. Macron says there will be "tolerance" of travel this easter weekend until Monday evening

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31 Mar
Presdt Macron is addressing the nation in 40 minutes or so. What I understand is – and this may not be gospel – he will announce an extension of the existing “lockdown light” covering 19 départements to whole of France. In other words, Easter travel is cancelled for everyone. 1/3
Schools may close for almost a month, by extending the school holidays. From 26 April, they will apparently resume for primary and nursery schools but will go on line for colleges and lycées until 3 May. Unemployment pay will be given to parents who have to stay at home 2/3
Intensive care capacity to be boosted by mobilising medical and nursing students and retired health workers. Vaccination programme to be accelerated so that the 60-plus are eligible for jabs in mid-April and 50-plus in mid-May. 3/3
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
Weekly French Covid thread.
Moment of truth for Macron when he addresses the nation at 8pm tonight (for 1st time since he announced a 2nd lockdown on 28 Oct). Will he abandon the jumble of partial, regional lockdowns and go for full “confinement” as UK variant runs riot? 1/12
The figures are grim – worse than the start of Oct lockdown (see chart by @nicolasberrod). The IC population is 5,072 - and 3,036 then. But stats are regionally mixed. Parts of Paris area have an incidence rate of over 1,000. Other places are fine. 2/12
Macron has been determined since May to keep schools open. Can he continue to do so, when many schools are having to close as Covid cases break out? In greater Paris the overall incidence rate is 644 (cases per 1,000 pop over 7 days) Among 15-19-yr-olds it’s 850. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
27 Mar
Weekly French vaccination thread

Good news, v good news, on the French vaccine programme. Bad news is also available, including a devastating surge of the UK Covid variant.
But it is NO LONGER TRUE to say, as much media habitually says, that Fr. vax prog is shambolic etc 1/12
Since I was one of the first to complain in boring detail about the poor vax numbers in France 2 months ago, I am delighted to be able to point to the extraordinary jab tally of the last 3 days. Over 1,000,000 doses were given in 72hrs, including 923,820 1st vaccinations. 2/12
The daily average of shots given in France for the last 3 days was 351,581. This is still a long way behind the daily peaks achieved in the UK but not so far behind the current UK daily av. of around 570,000. France should continue to improve in the weeks ahead. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
25 Mar
Grim news at the weekly French Covid press conference. There were 45,000 new cases in France today – a 50% jump on the current daily average. Three new départements will go into “lockdown lite” from tomorrow: Nièvre, Rhône and Aube. 1 /4
The heath minister Olivier Véran says the Paris area, the north (Hauts-de-France) and the Nice-Cannes area are worst effected by this new surge in cases caused almost entirely by the UK variant of Covid-19. The situation in these areas, is “extremely worrying”, he says. 2/4
Over 1,400 acute care beds are now occupied in Ile de France (greater Paris). Emergency effort is under way to lift the number available (usually 1,000) to 2,250 by mobilising all public and private health resources. Up to 80% of scheduled operations will have to be postponed 3/4
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar
Weekly French Covid thread

President Macron has bet his Covid policy - and his chances of re-election - on a double or quits gamble. Having refused a 3rd lock down 2 months ago, he has played for time with a “lockdown lite” covering a third of the French population of 66m 1/12
Is it a lockdown? Can it work? For many the new rules in 16 départements in Paris area, N. Normandy, N.W. France and Alpes Maritimes represent little change. Non-essential shops are closed. Exercise before curfew is unlimited. More office workers are meant to work from home. 2/12
The aim is to hold back UK variant of C19 until vaccination takes effect. In 1st week, acute cases have risen (but not soared) to 4,634, approaching the 4,919 (16 Nov) peak of the 2nd Lockdown. Cases jumped to an av. 29, 280 a day. They halved yesterday but that was a blip 3/12
Read 12 tweets
20 Mar
Weekly French vaccination thread.
What a confusing week. Confusion is bad, especially in France where anti-vax feeling is rife. And yet I’m going (for once) to defend France's vax effort from the more hysterical criticism (especially in the UK). 1/12
Despite a 3 day emergency pause in AstraZeneca shots, France kept up a respectable pace of jabbing this week – an average 168,407 first jabs a day, enough to hit is target of 10m by mid-April. The use of doses received from the EU, 50% at the end of Jan, is now around 80%.
Despite the howling mockery, France's decision on Friday to limit AZ shots to over-55s (for now) makes sense. Incidence of v. v. rare but grave types of blood clots (ie not all clots) has increased between 5 and 8 times amongst under-55’s in Europe who have taken AZ. 3/12
Read 12 tweets

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