Close schools by bringing the holidays forward? Extend braking measures to other departments? Or “push the walls” of hospitals while waiting for the impact of vaccinations? Faced with criticism of his anti-Covid strategy with more than 5,000 patients “in critical care”, Emmanuel Macron must make difficult choices this Wednesday. Once again, the French are suspended from the arbitrations that the Head of State will make with the ministers most concerned during the Defense Council which begins at 9 am at the Elysee Palace.
For now, the presidency has not announced a presidential address for this Wednesday, which has become synonymous with large-scale decisions since the start of the crisis a year ago. To decide, Emmanuel Macron will take into account the latest epidemic data, which he examined on Tuesday evening, in particular with Prime Minister Jean Castex. The trend remains worrying with an increase in the figures putting the hospital in very strong tension. The number of patients in intensive care has climbed to 5,072, beyond normal hospital capacity and the peak of the second wave in November. The incidence rate has also increased.
90% of intensive care beds occupied
Including Covid patients and others, nearly nine out of 10 intensive care beds (6,833 out of 7,665 as of March 26) are currently occupied, according to the Ministry of Health, which specifies that “the increase in capacity is continues in all regions ”. This degradation has only increased the pressure on the Head of State, urged by many doctors but also the opposition to take more effective measures, even strict confinement that Emmanuel Macron refuses.
And the image of a sharp head of state alone was reinforced by his refusal of everything MEA culpa for not having reconfigured at the end of January, against the advice of scientists. Rather than deciding on Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron might want to wait a few more days, in order to assess the effect of the hybrid confinement put in place thirteen days ago in 16, then 19, departments, including those of Ile-de-France. de-France and Hauts-de-France.
The closure of schools at the center of the debate
But for lack of rapid measures, doctors and hospital officials have warned of the risk of having to “sort” patients for lack of beds. One of the ways to reduce this pressure is, according to teachers, parents of students and local elected officials, to close schools in order to limit contamination. A solution that the Head of State and his Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer only want to take as a last resort.
The proposal made by the ex-LR president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, to bring forward the spring holidays planned from April 17, to close schools for a month is however closely watched. Elysium. On this point, “the reflection is in progress”, according to an adviser. Among the parameters of the equation, the acceptability of new restrictions is very important to the executive, in the face of a population increasingly resistant to traffic restrictions.