A year after its introduction, wearing a mask in public transport will be lifted. A medical or political decision?
Farewell to the mask in transport… The last major anti-covid restriction will disappear. However, can we speak of the end of the pandemic?
End of the mask: “Ten times the alert rate”
Does this decision finally sound the end of the Covid-19 pandemic? “I would have liked to answer you yes, answers Robert Sebbag, infectious disease specialist at the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. When we look at the situation today on the circulation of the virus, of course, things are much better. But when you look at the incidence rate nationally, it is still around 400 to 450 out of 100,000 inhabitants, ten times the alert rate. We are at 1,300 people in intensive care, certainly much lower than it could have been. But there are still 80 to 90 deaths a day.”
“We are between 35,000 and 40,000 new contaminations tested per day, even if these are not serious forms, specifies this infectiologist. The reality is therefore much higher. This means that the virus is still circulating, albeit with much less severity. In hospitals and nursing homes, the mask is still compulsory.
A decision taken on political grounds?
“The last bastion was public transport, emphasizes Robert Sebbag. You don’t have anything more closed than that. When you take the metro or the bus in the big cities, people are crowded together. It’s very poorly ventilated. Nevertheless, the risk of contamination exists. The people were relatively obedient. But you are going to have people on the metro who will wear the mask and others who will not.”
“Some will be afraid to take public transport, he believes. You still have to be a little careful. It didn’t bother me. Was this decision to remove the wearing of the mask taken on a medical, or political, or other basis? The virus is still circulating, we have two new variants in South Africa. Be careful, this virus is still there. Quite honestly, it’s too soon.”
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