Mulhouse: the evangelical rally wrongly accused of having spread the epidemic?

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The religious event, which has long been attributed to the starting point of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, was only one link in the chain of contamination, according to several studies.

Science has spoken. Pointed out since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, the evangelist rally in Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), in which 2,500 faithful had taken part, in mid-February, would not ultimately be the starting point of contagion in France, but only one step in the chain of transmission of the virus. This is what reports Paris Match this Thursday, May 21, based on two eloquent scientific studies.

Correlation does not mean causation

The first clues available to the health authorities could indeed suggest that the religious gathering had a preponderant role in the spread of the coronavirus. A few days after the return of the faithful, on February 21, in their respective regions, in mainland France and overseas, the figures for contamination had exploded, especially in the Grand Est region. The correlation was then quickly made. However, the causality was not proven.

But it is too late: the scapegoat is all found and the regional health agency goes so far as to describe the rally as ” atomic bomb “. Charges that Jonathan Peterschmitt, the son of the pastor, general practitioner, had hardly appreciated, especially since he had alerted the health authorities on March 1 of the epidemic situation, without being informed of any instructions. . However, according to Patrick Vogt, regulatory doctor at the Samu of Mulhouse, interviewed by Paris Match, the responsiveness of his nursing colleague has enabled the rapid identification of a new outbreak and thus limited the scale of the epidemic in France.

“The epidemic started five weeks before the health alert”

According to a study conducted by the chief medical officer of the medical imaging department at the Albert-Schweitzer hospital in Colmar (Haut-Rhin), the Covid-19 was circulating on November 16 in the Alsatian commune. The recent influx of Chinese tourists from which the city has benefited, presumably caused by a Chinese reality TV show, could explain this early arrival of the virus in France.

A second study, led by the CNRS, comes to the same conclusion. “The curves show that the epidemic started five weeks before the health alert. The region would have crossed the epidemic threshold on January 27, with a first wave until February 17 … “, can we read. However, the evangelical gathering did not start until the next day, February 18.

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