EJP member Roger Fajnzylberg on the COVID-19 situation in France: Prepare For “Italian Scenario”

Continuing the reports of EJP members on the situation with COVID-19 in their regions, we asked EJP member Roger Fajnzylberg about the realtime situation in France.

 1. What is the current situation with COVID in your country?

The virus is now actively circulating in several areas of the national territory, the epidemic is increasing in France. There are now 2,876 cases in France, with 61 dead and 129 people in intensive care.

Not one of France’s 13 regions is spared. The four epicentres are the Haut-Rhin department, southern Alsace, which falls within the region known as the ‘Grand-Est’ (700 cases); Greater Paris, the Ile-de-France (577 cases), the L’Oise  about 90 km (55 miles) north of Paris (349 cases), and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region unfurling from its capital Lyon to the Alps.

Travels within to and from France will be affected as the coronavirus outbreak worsens there. President Emmanuel Macron has announced the closure of schools nationwide from Monday March 13 and called on people to limit travels, and work from home.

2. What measures is France taking?

France decides to close down all schools–and rule out “all but strictly necessary travel”– travelers must at least plan for a possible nationwide lockdown similar to that in Italy, as the French coronavirus outbreak worsens. Of the decision to close only schools for now is based on the fact that “children are one of the major carriers of the disease, even if they have no symptoms.” France authorities believe schools are a key to blocking the virus spread.  For now the closure from Monday March 16 applies only to schools. Public transport, shops, cinemas etc. remain open. 

With all indoor gatherings of over 5,000 people officially banned, many concerts, cultural and sporting events as well as trade shows are being scrapped.

3.Are any extra measures taken locally?

 French people are called on to limit travel to “what is strictly necessary”, by favoring work from home. Also, to is suggested to stop the meetings between grand parents and little children. 

The sport events will be delayed or take place without any people

4.What is your assessment of the situation?

The jewish social organisations are totally involved as all the others. We believe the coronavirus outbreak is the biggest health crisis that France has known in a century.

5.Could you give us your forecast of the situation?

 It is still questionable  on witch rhythm will the hospitals be able to take charge of all the severe situation.

We prefer slowing down and taking extra measures in oder to slow virus spread.