France’s PM had mentioned a third criterion as part of the deconfinement plan but as yet French citizens have received no details.
ON April 28, when presenting the overall deconfinement plan for France to the National Assembly, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe mentioned a third criterion, the “local system for testing and detecting contact cases.” However, French citizens are still to see any evidence of this. On the map unveiled every evening since April 30, two criteria are taken into account to colour each territory in green, orange, or red: the circulation of the virus and the level of tension in intensive care, but no third.
On May 1, the Director-General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, set himself the “objective” of having the data for the third indicator “next week” which means they should arrive this Thursday.
There is urgency, while the information revealed on Thursday must determine in what context the deconfinement will take place according to the departments from Monday, May 11. Those in red must notably keep the parks and gardens closed. It is also a political issue, as shown by the sling of local elected officials from the three departments which had been placed – wrongly – in red on the first map.
To know if a department has the necessary screening and monitoring capacities, it is not only necessary to have an estimate of the number of new cases, but also to know the resources available to respond to them. However, the authorities seem to have found it difficult to gauge them.
In the Gers, for example, the departmental public laboratory signed an agreement with the Auch hospital on Monday allowing them to be able to carry out up to 400 tests per day. As for the private laboratories, they now have the capacity to make 100,000 tests per day. But it is not the number of tests that is the problem, it is the manpower it would take to perform them all.
As a reminder, Édouard Philippe set the objective of carrying out “at least 700,000” tests per week, although the DGS announced it is more likely to be “500,000 to 700,000” tests per week.