Would France take the same path as Italy ?

Transmission chains of the new coronavirus appear clearly in at least two of its departments, that of Oise, in the north of the country, and in Haute-Savoie, in the east. The number of confirmed cases of contamination has more than doubled, from 18 to 40, of which 26 are currently hospitalized.

It is in the Hauts-de-France region that the coronavirus has developed its highest contamination:

12 people are affected, who were in contact with the teacher of the college Jean de La Fontaine in Crépy-en-Valois, who died at 60 in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Paris, or in connection with another man of 55 years old, who is hospitalized in Amiens and is in serious condition. Neither of them had yet traveled to a country at risk.

Consultation or confinement

In the college of 700 students where the deceased professor worked, classes will not resume until next Thursday. But Monday and Tuesday, middle school students and all staff of the establishment will be able to be received in consultation by doctors, in coordination with the infectiology services of the University Hospital of Amiens and Lille.

"Around 2,000 students" have not returned to school and are currently staying at home because they have returned from an area affected by the coronavirus, a figure likely to increase next week, said the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. Jean-Michel Blanquer also assured that a distance education device could be deployed on a large scale if necessary: ​​"We have been preparing for it for several weeks with the Cned".

Finally, some organizations expect the government to make binding decisions. The Synerpa Federation of Aid to the Elderly calls for directives limiting access to retirement homes and senior residences for people from "China, South Korea, Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore and Italy (Lombardy and Veneto)" , "Or anyone who has been in contact with a traveler from these countries".

Measures for companies

For their part, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, and Muriel Pénicaud, Minister of Labor, announced exceptional measures to deal with the epidemic of Coronavirus which is considered as "a case of force majeure for the business, employees and employers ”.

The minister announced to companies working for the state that they will not be penalized in the event of delays in delivery. He also announced "possibilities of recourse to partial activity" and "the spreading of social and fiscal charges for the companies which will need it". Local communities will have to do the same.

The Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud, meanwhile, announced the posting of a question and answer online on the rules to follow for companies and employees. It underlines in particular that the employer can set up teleworking without the employee's agreement, contrary to the usual practice, or modify the dates of leave already set. The Ministry of Health also recalls that "the employer is responsible for the health and safety of the employees of his company in accordance with the provisions of article L. 4121-1 of the Labor Code".

It also confirmed that the parents of confined children can be "put on sick leave" without a waiting day and with coverage for daily social security benefits.

For their part, large companies are multiplying the precautions: if some are content to restrict travel to Asia, L'Oréal has just implemented a travel ban for the entire month of March for its employees.

No cancellation a priori for events

For his part, the new Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, agreed with his counterparts from the countries bordering Italy, Tuesday, to exchange information on the situation in their respective countries. The ministers undertook to harmonize the alerts sent to travelers and not to cancel a priori cultural and sporting events. The goal is not to create panic.

The message is already struggling to get across, however. Wednesday, the arrival of Turin's Juventus supporters in Lyon was criticized by opposition leaders, while the same day, we learned of the postponement of the Ireland-Italy rugby match scheduled for March 7 in Dublin in the as part of the Six Nations Tournament.

The arrival of Turin supporters is "not reasonable", judged the president of the RN, Marine Le Pen, and "not consistent", said the socialist Ségolène Royal. And in Nice, the mayor LR Christian Estrosi decided to shorten the carnival which was planned until Saturday.

Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld