Covid-19: why rushing out of big cities is not a good idea

While the confinement of the French will take effect this Tuesday at noon and for 15 days, stations are seeing people flocking to avoid quarantine in the city. But this reaction could worsen the spread of the COVID-19, as it travels with people.

Save lives. Stay at home

This order, delivered since this weekend and repeated by the President of the Republic on Monday evening, has not yet convinced everyone. Since the end of last week, the government has asked the French to limit their trips, in order to stem the spread of the new COVID-19. But with the potential announcement of confinement, some had already started to flee the big cities this weekend, to reach more spacious areas, for families, relatives, in the provinces.

The official announcement of containment Monday evening – effective from Tuesday noon – did not calm this exodus. Some reporters were able to observe Montparnasse station in Paris at dawn on Tuesday, crowded with people leaving the capital. But this reaction can only have the effect of spreading the epidemic a little more.

It’s not a good idea, the virus travels with people

“We saw it in Italy when we started talking about quarantine people rushed to the Milan train station to leave”, Vincent Maréchal, professor and specialist in virology says: “It’s a human reflex, but you have to explain to people that it’s not a good idea because the virus travels with people.”

Studies on the new COVID-19 have so far highlighted the fact that among infected people, a large part shows little or no symptoms, but remains infected and contagious. Going back to see your parents, older and more fragile, is not the most reasonable approach for the moment, transporting the virus to a little affected area either. According to the latest figures, Île-de-France currently concentrates more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than any other region in France.

In addition, train transport is far from respecting the instructions for barrier measures: queues in front of entrances, glued seats, cramped corridors … These are places where healthy people could find themselves infected.

“Social distancing is the only way we have to avoid contagion,” said Dr. Alain Ducardonnet, Health consultant. To avoid catching or spreading the coronavirus, you have to wash your hands regularly, stay a meter away from others or even cough in your elbow so as not to spread your miasma.

We are mind-blowing with a lack of hygiene

As Public Health France specifies, “it is likely that this coronavirus is similar to other human coronaviruses, which are generally transmitted during close contact by the inhalation of infectious droplets emitted during sneezing or coughing by the patient or after a contact with surfaces freshly contaminated with these secretions “.

“We have had enough of the sanitary incivility of the French!”, Released this Tuesday morning on BFMTV Gilles Pialoux, head of the infectious diseases department of the Tenon hospital, in front of these images in the stations. “The images of people rushing confined to stations, pushing to get on trains, there is one in a thousand who wears a mask … We are mind-blowing with a lack of hygiene”.

In addition, going back to the provinces is “going green in a region in which the hospital structure in the event of a problem is not necessarily very well supplied to receive cases”, also underlines Vincent Maréchal. “Nor is it necessarily a very good idea.”

“Move as little as possible”

Asked about this leakage phenomenon during his press conference on Monday evening, the Minister of the Interior downplayed the phenomenon and declared that it was not “most of the French. Most of the French have a home, they live in this home and we have to support them in that context. ”

“This war we will only win if we change all our lifestyles, our ways of moving, move as little as possible and really we must respect all the barrier gestures that are repeated,” said the Minister of Transports Elisabeth Borne, this Tuesday morning. She adds, however, that there will be a “tolerance” for people seeking to reach a second home, “but it must be done in order, it must be done without rushing to the stations”.

The government had taken the decision on Sunday to drastically and gradually reduce long-distance transport, in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, with rail traffic soon to be halved and only “a few international flights”.


Sally Anderson

Sally is a Masters in Business Administration by education. After completing her post-graduation, Sally jumped the journalism bandwagon as a freelance journalist. Soon after that she landed a job of reporter and has been climbing the news industry ladder ever since to reach the post of editor.

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