For two years, striking numbers for the epidemic

Excellent timing. While the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, had just announced the lifting of mask-wearing indoors and the end of the vaccination corridor on March 14, the Breton Regional Health Agency (ARS) has been assessing its work since the first cases of Covid-19 emerged, two years ago. A show that looked like “the last” as the epidemic recedes each day, dropping below 700 cases per 100,000 residents in the area. This is not the end of the health crisis. It might be an arrogant message,” Stefan Molise warns.

ARS director Bretagne is cautious but also reassuring about the development of the pandemic in a region that has long been bailed out. “Infection rates are dropping, childbearing is down, hospitalization is down. The signs are encouraging.” Two years after the first positive cases appeared, her services prepared a quantitative assessment of her work. Scoring in the rearview mirror almost makes you dizzy.

900,000. This is the number of residents of the area who actually contracted Covid-19 at the beginning of March, about 30% of the area’s population. “Initially, we put pins on the area map every time we had a positive case,” the ARS director recalls. Soon the system was abandoned. When the pandemic started, I thought we had until June. At no time did I imagine we would have it for more than two years,” admits Stephane Muliz.

10 million. The look looks crazy but it fits with the impressive queues created by Omicron’s wave pollution. In Brittany, 10 million PCR and antigen tests were performed in two years, an average of three tests per person. Data that does not take into account subjective tests.

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14,000. Total number of people hospitalized in Brittany for two years. Nearly 2,300 people went to intensive care units in area hospitals. On March 3, 2022, 69 patients were still being treated in these units for the most severe cases. “This shows how much hospitals are asked,” Stéphane Mulliez recalls, praising the nursing staff.

24 million euros. Appropriations allocated by the regional health agency to combat the epidemic for a period of two years. This includes, in particular, the purchase of 64 million masks, which were distributed to Breton institutions.

317. At the height of the crisis, the region was able to increase up to 317 intensive care beds, while it had only 164 beds before the Covid-19 crisis. And discussions are underway to try to determine the “appropriate” number of beds to sustain the epidemic and now it appears to be slowing.

Children and their parents sometimes waited several hours in Rennes for a simple check-up when the Omicron wave swept through Brittany.
Children and their parents sometimes waited several hours in Rennes for a simple check-up when the Omicron wave swept through Brittany. – c. Allen / 20 minutes

189. Brittany, which has survived the epidemic for a long time, is one of the regions that has received the most patients from other regions for relief at the Hauts-de-France, Grand-Est or even Corsica hospitals. Stunning images of trains or planes chartered especially for patients will remain engraved in our memory. Singer Christophe, who was transferred from Paris to Brest, is one of those who lost their lives despite their move. 220 health professionals are deployed to overseas territories.

2.347 The number of people who have died of Covid-19 in Breton hospitals. To this must be added the more than 350 residents of Ipad and an unknown number of people who died in their homes.

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96.5%. This is the percentage of people over 12 years old who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Brittany is the most polluted French region. 85% of the population who did take their stimulant dose. We had to administer vaccinations, check-ups and provide masks. It was like running a marathon at sprint speed,” the ARS Chief of Staff attests. To deal with this, the agency employed 65 people to reinforce the 350 already in place.


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