“DNow every minute counts. “ The alert was given this Sunday by the mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan (PS), a few hours after the announcement of a cluster of eight people infected by the new variant of Sars-Cov-2 from across -Handle. In the second largest city in France, there are concerns about the speed with which this strain is growing. The first patient, a person residing in Great Britain and returning to France for the end of the year holidays, had however tested negative for the coronavirus at first. Of his 45 contact cases, 23 have tested positive for Covid-19. At least seven of them are affected by the new strain. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the problem of the British variant is added to an already complicated epidemic situation with around 230 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, or as much as in the weeks preceding the October containment.
For the past three days, the department and its metropolis have been facing an emergency. The curfew has been brought forward to 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. and around forty marine firefighters are mobilized to track the mutant form of the virus and test massively in schools and streets. In the buildings where the detected cases of this cluster live, the soldiers analyze the door handles, elevator buttons and any contact surface. Across the city, they are continuing their analysis of wastewater, a method that would detect the presence of the virus six days before the first symptoms of infected people. According to the results, the authorities could target specific neighborhoods to organize tests, or decide to take new measures to contain the epidemic.
While the presence of a cluster with the new variant has only been reported since this weekend, the trail of local containment is already on the table. At the microphone of BFMTV, the first assistant, Michèle Rubirola, campaigned in favor of such a measure to “Break the transmission chain “ rather than an advanced 6pm curfew which “does not necessarily bring something more“. For his part, the mayor wonders about the aspect “bearableA third confinement, while the prefect of the region and the government spokesperson rule out this solution at local and national levels, at least for the moment.