The Inserm epidemiologist relies on the weekly bulletin of a network of general practitioners that lists only a small portion of Covid-19 cases in France.
Question from Bruno on December 24
When asked Thursday about CNews, epidemiologist Laurent Tubiana, of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), said about the Covid-19 epidemic in the territory: The number of patients has decreased [mercredi] by Sentinelles Network […], that is exactly 40 patients in one week out of every 100,000 inhabitants in France [sic]. Another network, which is completely official, is the network of SOS doctors, who are the first to receive patients, for them, it is 33 patients in one week for 100,000 people. ”
Laurent Tubiana takes this number from Sentinels Weekly Bulletin for Week 50 (from December 13 to 19). As we explained in a Previous article Dedicated to the same topic, this network consists of 1,300 volunteer general practitioners spread across all regions, who are responsible for reporting health data on ten indicators (mainly infectious diseases), for research and epidemiological studies.
Point one: Laurent Toubiana gives the number of patients (40) per 100,000 inhabitants. But compared to the entire population, this makes approximately 27,000 patients in one week (22,000 for SOS Médecins). The exact number is up to 39 per 100,000 inhabitants, or 26,000 patients nationwide.
“Part of the issues”
This number from the Sentinels network, above all, relates only to asymptomatic patients identified in general medicine (the number of patients present who were passed by clinicians in the network, then extrapolated to the number of patients in general medicine). The same observation also applies to the network of SOS Médecins.
“We are only listing cases that came for consultation with GPs, show some form of acute respiratory infection, and then were confirmed with a positive test, Thierry Blanchon, Vice President of Sentinelles Network, explained to us in May. So it is only a fraction of the Covid-19 cases in France.”
Many people affected by the SARS-2 virus are not actually the subject of a city consultation. Either because they go to the emergency room or SAMO, or above all, because they have few or no symptoms and are content to isolate themselves at home. During the same week, the French public health authority, which includes all positive tests conducted, identified 358,500 new cases of Covid-19 (more than 500 per 100,000 inhabitants).
This also does not mean that there were 358,500 new “patients” of Covid-19 during week 50. In fact, As we recently explained,Nearly half of the people who have tested positive for the virus do not show symptoms. Thus, the number of “patients” with Covid-19, that is, people with symptoms, will reach 180,000 in the week of December 13-19. And not 27,000, as Laurent Tubiana asserts. As for the number of serious cases that required hospital treatment, it reached 8,500 that week.
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