CategoryFrance

France reports decline in COVID-19 infections and hospital deaths

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French health authorities reported 11,022 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down from the 12,923 new infections detected the previous day.

The coronavirus death toll in French hospitals rose by 174, the health ministry said, a smaller increase than Saturday’s 216. The number of COVID-19 patients rose by 223 to 26,293, while the number in intensive care declined by 10 to 3,220.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-france-numbers-idUKKBN28G0QSHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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US expects 100 million people vaccinated by February

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The US hopes to have immunized 100 million people against Covid-19 by the end of February, a top official said Wednesday, which is approximately 40 percent of the country’s adult population.

The push should start within weeks, when vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna-NIH are expected to be approved.

Each of these require two doses, the second after three weeks and four weeks, respectively.

“Between mid-December, and the end of February, we will have potentially immunized 100 million people,” Moncef Slauoi, scientific advisor to the government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program told reporters.

This, he continued, would cover the “at-risk” population comprising the elderly, health care workers, and first responders.

There will be an “ample” amount of vaccine to immunize three million residents of long-term care facilities, said the former pharmaceutical executive, who was recruited by the administration of President Donald Trump in May.

The rest would be enough to reach the bulk of health care workers, if states and other territories agree with federal recommendations to prioritize this population.

As production of the two vaccines expands, 20 million will be reached in December, 30 million in January and 50 million in February, making 100 million total.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20201202-us-expects-100-million-people-vaccinated-by-februaryHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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New COVID-19 cases in France stay below 10,000 for third day

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New COVID-19 infections in France stayed below 10,000 for the third day in a row on Tuesday, a sequence unseen since mid-September, and the number of people hospitalised for the disease resumed a downward trend.

The government has loosened its second national coronavirus lockdown, put in place on Oct. 30, by allowing all shops to reopen at the weekend.

President Emmanuel Macron said last week the lockdown could be lifted on Dec. 15 if by then the number of new infections per day fell to 5,000 and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care declined to between 2,500 and 3,000.

Earlier in the day, Macron said that France should be in a position to embark on a broader COVID-19 vaccination campaign between April and June next year, after initially targeting a smaller group of people.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france-infections-idUSKBN28B64YHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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France’s lockdown will be lifted on Dec 15 – but bars and restaurants will stay closed for Christmas

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France’s coronavirus lockdown will be lifted on December 15 – but bars and restaurants will stay closed over the Christmas period, Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday evening in a televised address.

It was part of a three-stage easing of restrictions over the next two months.

November 28

– Shops can reopen under strict hygiene restrictions

– Lockdown will continue but restrictions on how long one can leave home for is extended. Currently, one can exercise for up to an hour with a one-kilometre radius of one’s residence. That will be extended to a radius of 20 kilometres for up to three hours.

– Religious centres can reopen but with no more than 30 people at any one time.

December 15

– Lockdown is lifted if the health situation continues to improve, allowing people to move around the country and spend Christmas with their families and friends.

– Cinemas, theatres and museums will reopen their doors.

– Instead of a lockdown, the country will revert to a night-time curfew (9 pm to 7 am).

– Bars and restaurants will stay closed over Christmas

– Ski resorts unlikely to be open for Christmas. Final decision expected in the coming days.

January 20

– If the health situation allows it, bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen.

– Sports centres and gyms will be allowed to reopen

– What else did Macron say?

– Macron said the country had passed the peak of its second wave of coronavirus. He said the easing of restrictions had been made possible by an improving picture nationwide. But, he added, several more weeks of restrictions would need to be endured to allow the country to get the pandemic fully under control.

He said the most vulnerable in society should begin to get a COVID-19 vaccine from the end of December or the beginning of January.

www.euronews.com/2020/11/24/will-emmanuel-macron-ease-france-s-coronavirus-lockdownHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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France’s second wave of the coronavirus may have already reached its peak

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France may be past the worst of its second wave of coronavirus infections, the country’s health agency said Friday, warning however that protective measures should be kept in place.

Thanks to curfews and lockdowns, confirmed new infections dropped 40 percent last week, admissions to hospital fell 13 percent, and the number of new intensive care patients was down nine percent, Santé Publique France said.

The data provided fresh arguments for shop owners who have been lobbying to be allowed to reopen for the crucial Christmas period, while the government was trying to decide what to do about the coming Black Friday shopping splurge.

“Although indicators are still at high levels, they suggest that the peak of the second peak is behind us,” the agency said.

President Emmanuel Macron will talk about the country’s coronavirus crisis on Tuesday at 2000 CET (1900), a source at the presidential palace said on Friday.

The number of Covid deaths has stabilised after several weeks of increases, the agency said, with 3,756 recorded fatalities compared with 3,817 a week earlier.

French cities that imposed curfews earliest are now seeing the sharpest decreases in patient numbers, Santé Publique said.

https://www.france24.com/en/france/20201120-france-s-second-wave-of-the-coronavirus-may-have-already-reached-its-peakHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Covid-19 deaths aren’t rising as fast in Europe and US, despite soaring new infections

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Europe is drowning in the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Infection rates are skyrocketing across the continent. Governments are imposing strict lockdowns. Economies are shutting down again. But there is a glimmer of hope: The virus, while still deadly, appears to be killing fewer people on average.

Recent case and fatality figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that while recorded Covid-19 cases are spiking in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and other European countries, deaths are not rising at the same rate.

“The fatality rate has declined, in the UK, we can see it going down from around June to a low point in August,” said Jason Oke, a senior statistician at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. “Our current estimate is that the infection fatality rate is going up a little bit, but it hasn’t come up to anywhere near where we were and that’s unlikely to change dramatically unless we see a really surprising increase in the numbers of deaths.”

Oke has been tracking Covid-19 fatality rates along with his colleague Carl Heneghan of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and health economist Daniel Howdon. Their research shows that, at the end of June, the fatality rate was just below 3% in the UK. By August, it had dropped as low as about 0.5%. It now stands at roughly 0.75%.

The lower death rate isn’t unique to Europe.

In New York, the death rate for those hospitalized with coronavirus-related illnesses has also dropped since earlier this year, according to a study by a team of researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. A wider analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the NYU team shows that across the United States, “6.7% of cases resulted in death in April, compared with 1.9% in September.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/28/europe/coronavirus-death-rate-second-wave-lower-intl/index.html

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Some Signs of Recovery From Severe Covid Lung Damage

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In two early studies, researchers said some patients showed signs of healing just weeks after leaving the hospital.

When Annie Coissieux tried to stand up for the first time after weeks in the hospital battling Covid-19, she couldn’t get on her feet.

“My first day after I.C.U., I couldn’t leave the chair without the help of two nurses,” she recalled from her home in the Drôme region in southeast France. She felt breathless and exhausted after walking for just a few minutes. “Going to the bathroom was a real mission that required time and effort.”

Ms. Coissieux, 78, was sent to a nearby pulmonary rehabilitation clinic, Dieulefit Santé, where a physical therapist taught her breathing exercises to help restore her lungs and the muscles involved in breathing.

When she went home three weeks later, Ms. Coissieux could walk close to 1,000 feet, albeit with a walker. As she continued exercising at home, she grew stronger.

“Now I can walk 500 meters with no walker,” or about 1,600 feet, said the retired schoolteacher. “I can walk up the stairs at my cousin’s house.” And while she still feels fatigued in the afternoons, she cycles on her indoor bike and swims.

Lingering shortness of breath and diminished stamina have dogged many Covid patients whose lungs were viciously attacked by the coronavirus. Early in the pandemic, doctors worried that Covid might cause irreversible damage leading to lung fibrosis — progressive scarring in which lung tissue continues to die even after the infection is gone.

At a recent European Respiratory Society meeting, doctors presented early results of a few small studies that offered a glimmer of hope, indicating that in at least some cases, patients’ lungs show signs of recovery especially with intensive aftercare and exercise.

For patients who were bedridden or intubated in intensive care units for weeks, the ability to breathe on their own was impaired. Their muscles, including the diaphragm — the main breathing muscle that pushes the abdominal organs down so that the lungs can expand — had weakened.

“They spent months in bed and lost their muscle and respiratory capacity,” Ms. Al Chikhanie explained.

“It seems that most of these more severe patients recover from severe lung injury,” said Dr. Frederic Hérengt, who oversaw the study at Dieulefit Santé.

Longer range studies still have to be conducted to assess the potential for permanent effects.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/18/health/Covid-lung-damage-recovery.htmlHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Airport Covid testing to be given go-ahead ‘within days’ says MP – which could end quarantine restrictions

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Airport coronavirus testing could be given the go-ahead within days – which may end or drastically reduce quarantine periods.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay confirmed that decisions regarding new measures which include airport swabbing will be made in the “coming days”.

He also said it would be a similar procedure currently seen in Germany, where passengers arriving from high-risk countries are able to be tested, meaning they can leave the quarantine, according to the Times.

Speaking during a Conservative conference, Mr Barclay explained: ““I am expecting Grant Shapps and Matt Hancock to say more about this in the coming days.

“If we look, for example, at some of the German states, which are using testing to then release earlier from some of the restrictions.”

Brits currently have to quarantine for 14 days if returning from any countries deemed high risk, which includes Spain, France, parts of Portugal and Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey, which was added to the quarantine list last week.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/12847172/airport-covid-testing-start-quarantine-rules-end/​

France to enrol 25,000 in COVID-19 vaccines clinical trials

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France called for 25,000 adult volunteers on Thursday to enrol in a series of large-scale clinical trials aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of several COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The Phase II and III trials, which could start as soon as this month, will take place at 24 hospitals across the country. Volunteers are invited to register online.

There is currently no internationally approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, which has killed over 1 million worldwide.

France’s public research body Inserm, which is in charge of the project, did not name the vaccines that would be assessed and said it was currently holding discussions with drugmakers, adding it would pick the “most promising” candidates for the trials.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france-trials/france-to-enrol-25000-in-covid-19-vaccines-clinical-trials-idUSKBN26M6CHHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Covid-19 tests that give results in minutes to be rolled out across world

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Tests for Covid-19 that show on-the-spot results in 15 to 30 minutes are about to be rolled out across the world, potentially saving many thousands of lives and slowing the pandemic in both poor and rich countries.

In a triumph for a global initiative to get vital drugs and vaccines to fight the virus, 120m rapid antigen tests from two companies will be supplied to low- and middle-income countries for $5 (£3.90) each or even less.

The tests, which look like a pregnancy test, with two blue lines displayed for positive, are read by a health worker. One test has received emergency approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the other is expected to get it shortly.

The quick and easy but high-quality tests will allow mass screening of health workers, who are dying in disproportionate numbers in low income countries.

Wealthy countries that have signed up to the Access to Covid tools initiative (ACT accelerator), as the UK has, will also be able to order the tests. The initiative was launched in March by the WHO, the European commission, the Gates Foundation and the French government.

In return for a volume guarantee from the Gates Foundation, the companies are making 20% of their production available to low- and middle-income countries and 80% to the rest. Germany has already ordered 20m tests and France and Switzerland are following suit.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/28/covid-19-tests-that-give-results-in-minutes-to-be-rolled-out-across-worldHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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