The respite on the Covid-19 front will have been short for François Braun, the new Minister of Health. As soon as he took office, he appeared on Tuesday, July 5 before the law commission at the National Assembly, at the opening of a discussion on the bill “of monitoring and health security”.

“The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which are now the majority strains, are causing epidemic resurgence nationwide,” he said. The seventh epidemic wave is “increasing in recent days” and “we are seeing about 120,000 cases (per day) on average in the past week, with the number of cases expected to slightly exceed 200,000 tonight,” said Mr. Braun in the preamble.

Faced with a virus that “circulates more and faster, we must protect the population and ensure the impact of this recovery on the health system”, pleaded the minister. Noting the increase in admissions to conventional hospital wards and, to a lesser extent, to critical care, this emergency doctor pointed out that it was so far “far below the January peak” and without comparison with the previous waves which were “of an even greater magnitude”. “However, we are extremely attentive to the evolution of the situation in the context that we know about the hospital”, continued Mr. Braun.

Wearing a mask recommended in crowded places

And “contrary to what some claim, the government’s strategy is clear” in the face of this wave, he claimed, calling for “finding all the right reflexes”. In addition to the recommended wearing of the mask “in crowded places like here, for example, public transport, transport for holidays”, the minister, masked, encouraged the second vaccination reminder for the most fragile.

“Vaccinating against severe forms saves lives,” Mr. Braun insisted, saying he, as an “emergency physician, has seen far too many preventable deaths.” After a recent rebound, “nearly three million people have received a second dose,” which is “better, but still not enough,” he said. “If we get out of the exceptional crisis regimes, we are not getting out of the Covid epidemic and there is a need to maintain certain tools”, objects of the two “very targeted” articles of the bill, defended the minister .

This text is “not a draft state of emergency” and “includes minimum but necessary measures allowing us after July 31 to monitor the epidemic to protect the French”, he insisted.


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