A top scientific expert has told French radio that the country’s quarantine looks set to last at least another six weeks – if not more.
Yazdan Yazdapanah, Head of the Infectious Diseases department at the Bichat hospital in Paris and member of the President’s Scientific Committee made the prediction on radio station France Info this morning.
He said: “It will depend a bit on the curve of the epidemic, the number of new cases that we will see […] I think we have to start on a basis of six weeks, something like that, I can’t exactly say.
“But it will be more than 15 days, it will probably be around 6 weeks or more.”
Yazdapanah is on the Scientific Committee which has been consulted by the President for over a week. It also includes 10 other scientists, including its leader Jean-François Delfraissy, a doctor specialising in immunology, who works in close collaboration with Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
It also includes Didier Raoult, from the infectious diseases department of the Timone hospital in Marseille, who made international headlines when he claimed he had come up with a promising potential treatment for COVID-19.
Yazdapanah had earlier been criticised for saying on 21st January that there would “not be an epidemic in France.” He ended up being the one to take on the first cases of the virus in the country.
At the end of February, Yazdan Yazdapanah said on France 2: “I think that from the moment when Europe began to be affected, and in particular Italy, we could expect this type of development. I think it will progress.”
Yazdapanah is also quoted today in local media as saying that they “will do everything they can to ensure hospitals can manage” as France expects a sharp influx of patients in the coming days.
Hospitals reportedly fear they will reach saturation level, notably in the greater Paris area.
Yazdapanah also said next week “will be difficult” and that the results from the first clinical trials for potential treatments could be expected “in one or two months.”
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