Wearing a mask is compulsory in Montpellier -
N. Bonzom / Maxele Presse
In recent days, certain sectors of the department have seen their incidence rates explode: in the agglomeration of Lunel, or in Cournonterral, in particular.
For now, the figure is 184 in Hérault, less than in Gard and Haute-Garonne.
The metropolis of Montpellier is even among the least affected in France.
For Jacques Reynes, head of the infectious diseases department of the CHU, the danger is "that these people, who have belonged, or who belong, to homes, travel for errands or for walks ... And that this spreads the virus.
The Hérault is not in the list of departments "under surveillance", unveiled by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, on February 25.
But in recent days, on the Hérault front, some news is not good: in several sectors of the department, the incidence rates of Covid-19 have exploded.
In the agglomeration of Lunel, for example, the figure doubled in one week, from 202 (per 100,000 inhabitants) on February 20 to 404 on February 28.
And in Cournonterral, where the Pailhasses carnival was held on February 17, despite the ban, it jumped from 200 to 704, pointed out the prefect of Hérault, Jacques Witkowski, on Tuesday.
So, should we fear for the Hérault?
For now, if some areas of the department have seen their indicators soar, the average incidence rate is 184. This is less than in Gard (199) and Haute-Garonne (192).
And much less than the average in France (222).
The metropolis of Montpellier is even one of the large agglomerations in France where the incidence rate is the lowest (148).
But, lamented the mayor, Michaël Delafosse (PS), Monday, "we have seen a worrying rise for four or five days".
"The epidemic does not always evolve homogeneously within the departments themselves," says Pierre Ricordeau, director general of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Occitanie.
Hérault is a department whose incidence has tended to increase, but it started from relatively low compared to other departments in the region.
Today it is located in the high average of the region, with, indeed, localized difficulties, like the Lunellois, but also the Biterrois.
The director of the ARS says he is "vigilant" with regard to these situations.
"The situation is deteriorating worryingly" in Lunel
According to figures published this Tuesday by the ARS, if the number of hospitalizations of people affected by Covid-19 is down slightly in Hérault (226, one less than on February 26), the number of patients placed in intensive care or critical care increased: 61, down from 55 on February 26.
In addition, 11 more deaths in four days are to be deplored in health establishments in Hérault, or 656 since the start of the epidemic, almost a year ago.
This is the most serious toll in Occitania.
In Lunel, the prefect has put in place several measures to try to stop the worrying progression of the virus: preventive actions are carried out with the inhabitants, the controls of the gendarmerie have been reinforced and the Lunell schools prioritized in the deployment saliva tests promised by the National Education.
Additional doses of vaccine will also be sent to the Lunellois.
"The situation is worsening in a worrying way in this part of the territory, with an acceleration of the spread of the virus", had alerted the prefecture, Monday.
"The weekend is quite crucial"
For Jacques Reynes, head of the infectious diseases department at the Montpellier University Hospital, the coming days will be decisive for the Hérault department.
"The share of the English variant has increased very significantly, but very recently, in Occitania, and in particular around Montpellier," confides the professor to
And obviously, this variant has stronger propensities for extension than the original virus, and therefore, we risk facing, within ten to fifteen days, an increase in Covid-19 cases, increased by the problem of two or three foci, probably linked to festivals, which exist today in the Hérault.
Our file on the Coronavirus
The risk, continues Jacques Reynes, is that people affected by Covid-19 in these clusters, in Lunel or Cournonterral, “move”.
"The weekend is quite crucial," resumes the professor.
If we are not yet confined, the danger is that these people, who belonged, or who belong, to the homes, travel for errands or for walks ... And that this spreads the virus.
Coronavirus in Hérault: The incidence rate of Covid-19 has doubled in one week in Lunel
Coronavirus in the Hérault: After a carnival in a village, the incidence rate of Covid-19 explodes