Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Conditions for countries to relax blockade

Conditions for countries to relax blockade 2
Conditions for countries to relax blockade 2

Experts fear that governments will `submit` to economic pressure and lift the blockade too soon, creating an opportunity for Covid-19 to flare up again.

Christian Brechot, president of the Pasteur Institute and former president of the French National Medical Research Institute INSERM, said that we must be `very humble and cautious` with a virus that many countries underestimated.

Beach access in Biarritz, France was closed on April 7.

Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the scientific panel advising the French government, said there are a number of prerequisites for lifting lockdown measures.

First, the number of intensive care cases needs to be significantly reduced.

Covid-19’s infection rate, which is how many people an infected person can infect, needs to fall below one, compared with 3.3 when the outbreak first broke out.

Finally, there needs to be enough masks to protect people and test kits to closely monitor the spread.

`We will not go from black to white, but from black to grey, the restrictive measures will continue,` Delfraissy said.

Antoine Flahault, an epidemiology expert at the University of Geneva, told France 2 television that the lockdown should not be lifted when the epidemic has leveled off, but only `when a decline is seen.`

Researcher Brechot also said he `hopes from mid-May we will see a decrease in the indicators`, which would allow for a `gradual easing` of restrictions.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the continent hardest hit by Covid-19, some countries have begun to partially lift restrictions.

Germany, which has recorded a decrease in the number of new infections and is less affected than some neighboring countries, is considering lifting restrictions in stages.

Denmark will reopen kindergartens and primary schools from April 15, while the Czech Republic has begun to ease restrictions, including opening some stores.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, there are few signs that restrictions will be eased any time soon.

French national health service director Jerome Salomon described the slight drop in intensive care cases as a `faint ray of sunshine`.

The epidemic also appears to be leveling off in Italy and Spain, with the number of daily deaths gradually decreasing.

However, experts say there are still unknowns that could impact the conditions for easing the blockade, including the possibility of developing smartphone applications to track contact history of infected people.

Another big unknown is the impact of the summer on the epidemic situation in the northern hemisphere.

`If Covid-19 does not ‘take a summer break’, lifting the blockade will be more complicated,` said epidemiologist Flahault.

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