Welcome to the eighth bulletin from CSF-Languedoc during the Coronavirus epidemic. In this bulletin we share the key messages from Macron’s speech of 13th April, and information about Cancer Support France-Languedoc and other organisations’ plans and guidance during this crisis.
By Cancer Support France – Languedoc (Herault – Aveyron)
President Macron’s Speech of 13th April
President Macron acknowledged the difficulties faced by everyone during confinement. He recognised the huge efforts of health and other keyworkers in supporting those with Covid-19, those providing other services to the wider society, and everyone for respecting the rules of confinement, thanking all for their part in the French response to this crisis.
He stated that France, as most other countries, was not prepared for the crisis – notably not having enough Personal Protective Equipment, medical grade sanitiser, etc. France has responded by significantly increasing domestic production, as well as placing orders for appropriate equipment from abroad.
The need to continue with the confinement was clear. The current confinement arrangements will be in place until Monday 11th May.
Up until 11th May, the confinement rules will remain the same as now across France. Advice remains the same in term of actions to reduce risk. Anyone who is at high risk should be continuing remote contact with their GP as appropriate.
Anyone undergoing treatment for other chronic conditions must continue.
During this extended confinement period:
- the capacity for people to visit their loved ones at end of life will be supported with the provision of appropriate protection (this is particularly the case for those in care homes)
- financial support for people whose work/income is affected will be extended, and simplified
- specific support will be made available for those in greatest need
- borders with countries outside Europe will remain closed, with no time limit set for this to be revised
From 11th May:
- there will be specific plans for hard-hit areas of the economy, e.g. tourism
- schools will gradually be reopened (though not universities)
- the position regarding school exams will be clarified
- plans for people to return to work will be developed
- tests will be available for anyone displaying Covid-19 symptoms
- masks will be made available as a priority to transport workers etc
- masks will be available to all via their Mairie, but wearing them will not be a requirement for the general population
A detailed plan for coming out of confinement will be published in two weeks’ time, and will be revised and adapted nearer 11th May as the situation evolves. Any measures will also be assessed weekly once put in place, and adapted, if necessary.
No large gatherings or festivals can happen before mid-July, and restaurants, cafés and theatres will remain closed beyond 11th May.
The mobile tracking App that has been widely talked about will be discussed by the assembly to ensure any implementation does not compromise personal privacy and democratic rights.
Anyone at high risk, (including with underlying health conditions and those who are older), is urged to continue operating in line with current confinement rules beyond 11th May.
All future planning will be dependent on the adherence to and outcomes of confinement and, also, as France will remain far from a state of ‘collective immunity’, the progress made in two key areas:
- the development of an effective vaccine
- improvement to treatment
France is investing heavily in both these areas.
President Macron called for continued rigour and discipline in following the rules of confinement, that France remain united, and work closely with the rest of Europe.
He reassured the population that France would have better times again, and he called for everyone to take care of themselves and each other.
Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response
CSF-L continues to support Anglophones touched by cancer in the Hérault and Aveyron. In line with confinement requirements, this is done at distance, but our contact with clients and medical staff continues and we remain available to support new referrals. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
In line with government guidance, our monthly Drop-In is cancelled until further notice, and will not re-start before September at the earliest.
After careful consideration and in light of the recent experience of our Active Listeners in supporting CSF-L members affected by the Covid-19 virus, the CSF-L Council has extended support to people touched by Covid-19 for the duration of the crisis. Our Helpline will also take these calls.
Local Health Authority Guidance (Agence Régionale de Santé [ARS], Occitanie)
Guidance is constantly being updated and made available (in French) on the following site:
The latest guidance, provided on 9th April, goes through the best hygiene regimes at home to guard against Covid-19 (Hygiène à la maison : recommandations durant la période d’épidémie COVID 19).
CSF-L is in the process of translating this document into English, and will make it available soon. The guidance includes clarification on:
- when and how often everyone should wash their hands (at least 4-6 times a day as well as before and after most daily activities)
- how to deal effectively with food and food packaging following shopping (disposing of packaging, washing items, and hand washing)
- food preparation
- airing the home (at least for 10 minutes every morning and evening) and maintaining the hygiene of any ventilation system in use
- disinfection of regularly handled surfaces, such as door handles, taps, etc (hot water deactivates the disinfecting property of bleach, so only cold water should be used to dilute any bleach used for these purposes) and phones/computers etc (using 70% alcohol wipes)
- washing (bedding, towels and tea towels should be washed at 60°C, with all other items at 40°C)
- regular cleaning of bathroom areas
- regular disposal of rubbish and recycling
- pets being unable to transmit Covid-19
More detail to follow…
Another update from the ARS is that on 14th April, a delivery of 600,000 masks is planned to pharmacies across Occitanie. These masks are destined for doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, physiotherapists and home care workers.
Information – fake or real?
The spread of fake information continues, including WhatsApp and Facebook and/or Messenger messages purporting to be from health providers (ambulance and other health services). Most of these are passing on information about ‘peak contagion’ or ‘peak demand’ (often over an unspecified period). Most are advising that, during this ‘period’, people should either avoid going out at all for any reason, or should expect not to be able to use health services (e.g. having to stay at home/be unable to use ambulance services, irrespective of symptoms).
Advice remains to check with Government and Health Authority guidance. You can also check the information we have on our website:
If you receive something and would like us to check its validity, please contact us using the email address we have reserved for Covid-19 feedback: email@example.com
Shopping deliveries in Montpellier
In certain cities (Montpellier and Toulouse in Occitanie, for example), Uber Eats and Deliveroo have expanded their home deliveries to include shopping from certain retailers (initially Carrefour and Casino, now joined by Monoprix’ and Franprix). The service aims to make deliveries within an hour.
As deliveries are by bicycle, the amount delivered in any one go is limited and shops are setting up ‘baskets’ for set amounts (e.g. Casino has two 25 € baskets – one of fruit and vegetables, one of ‘daily goods’, Monoprix has baskets ranging from 13 to 40 € etc). If you have any experience of this service to share, we would like to hear about this on our firstname.lastname@example.org address.
As we are all spending much more time in our gardens where we have them, there has been much discussion about the buying of plants and seeds. Clarification by the Prefecture of Hérault confirms that this is not essential and cannot constitute a reason for leaving your home as per the Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire. However, it is permitted to buy plants and seeds as part of a journey that does fit in with these essential categories. Guidance states very clearly that any such purchase should comply with good practice, and many places selling plants are now offering a pre-order service with ‘drive’ pick up.
If you have information about places that deliver, or offer a ‘drive’ option for plants, please share it with us at: email@example.com Thank you.
We hope you stay safe and well.