Covid 19: Ómicron threatens to “disorganize” essential services in France due to runaway infections | Society

The rapid spread of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus threatens to cause chaos in some key strategic sectors that could be affected by lack of personnel, as a result of the pandemic. As the French scientific council warned this Thursday, an independent body that advises the Government of Emmanuel Macron on covid-19 since the beginning of the health crisis, supermarkets, transport, hospitals or schools could suffer a “disorganization” in January due to sick leave or absenteeism linked to contagions by the omicron variant, which in the opinion of experts leads to a review of the isolation rules in force today.

A “possible disorganization of a certain number of essential services” is expected in January due to “absenteeism” and “sick leave” due to the “large number of infections by omicron”, said the president of the scientific council, Jean-François Delfraissy , in a teleconference with French media, reports the Agence France Presse.

If the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, estimated on Wednesday that by the end of the year France could already register more than 100,000 infections a day (on Wednesday there were more than 80,000 in just 24 hours), by January, after the return of the holidays, the “brilliant” omicron transmission could translate into “several hundred thousand” cases a day, warned Olivier Guérin, a member of the scientific council a day later. Something that “will pose problems in strategic sectors for the functioning of our society: food distribution, security, energy, transport, communication and health,” he said.

For the experts who advise Macron – who do not always take his recommendations into account – it will be necessary to “reflect on the rules” currently in force, which involve up to 17 days off the job for a positive contact. “It will be necessary to make adjustments that take into account the clinical severity” of the disease, “but also about the use of tests, which allow determining whether a person is still contagious or not,” said epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet. the BFMTV network. For example, he noted, “if you work in a hospital and are asymptomatic, there are flexibilities that will be necessary,” he said.

Vaccination center at the Saint Quentin velodrome in Yvelines.
Vaccination center at the Saint Quentin velodrome in Yvelines.CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON (EFE)

For the moment, the French government has avoided imposing new restrictions or delaying the return to school in January, as requested by some sectors. However, next Monday Macron has convened a new Security Council focused on covid-19 to present, earlier than initially planned, the bill that plans to pass the current covid passport, which is valid whether it is vaccinated or If you have a negative test, the vaccines passport, which will only allow people with the full guideline to enter closed public places.

The government wants Parliament to pass the law as soon as possible so that it can be applied in mid-January. It is not ruled out that the Executive takes advantage of Monday’s appointment, which will be held after Christmas, but before the end of the year, to announce new measures. Meanwhile, the president, in a message sent by the social networks Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok, urged the French to continue to be vaccinated and to respect more than ever protective gestures such as a mask, ventilation and hand washing in the face of family gatherings, for which he has also recommended previously doing covid tests.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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