Lunchtime News Tuesday 23rd June 2020

The Scientific Council in France calls for vigilance - France’s Scientific Council has called on the authorities to remain “extremely vigilant” concerning the coronavirus. In a report submitted to the French government on Sunday the council called for the greatest vigilance.

According to the thirteen members of the council the return in force of the disease in France either in the short or long term, is a probability.

The council’s conclusion has come from three criteria. First, the low collective immunity in France which is today estimated at 5% of the population, an insufficient figure in order "to prevent the occurrence of a second epidemic wave".

Secondly the circulation of the virus, which is still very important outside of Europe, and in particular in the southern hemisphere. Several countries, which are currently entering the winter period, are experiencing an uncontrolled multiplication of cases.

And finally, the third argument raises the question following "previous experience from influenza pandemics", which "took place in two or three waves before adopting a seasonal rhythm."

While the Scientific Council prepares for the worst scenarios, the question of the second wave remains the subject of lively debate within the scientific community.

At the time of the deconfinement, several of them, including Professor Didier Raoult, considered that a return of Covid-19 was more than improbable. Last week, the same director general of the IHU Mediterranean in Marseille now considers that it’s necessary to closely monitor New Zealand, a country with a climate similar to that of France, which will begin the winter season.

In the event of a second wave, Jean-François Delfraissy, the president of the Scientific Council, informed France’s National Assembly, that a plan was already ready. Adding that he considered that a "partial lockdown" of the population could be envisaged.

Drought in the region - Local authorities have warned of the drought risk for the region this summer. Even though groundwater is at a good level, the authorities are keeping an eye on it due to the fact that this summer, promises to be particularly hot and dry on the Côte d'Azur.

In a map published on June 11th by France’s environment minister the Alpes-Maritimes is classified as yellow running a high risk of drought this summer.

Second round of local elections - Candidates in this Sunday’s second round of local elections in France are going digital to connect with voters. Virtual meetups on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Zoom have shaken up the traditional campaign. 

Candidates have had to get creative about how they interact with voters in a time of social distancing and increasingly limited human contact. A recent poll however showed that 60% of French people do not intend to venture out to the polling stations.




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