containment seems to work in San Francisco

A deserted highway leading to San Francisco, California, Wednesday April 1. JOSH EDELSON / AFP

San Francisco seems to have escaped the fate of New York. Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday April 2 welcomed the slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in California, particularly in the northern part of the state. Hospitalizations " increase but not as much Than in other parts of the country, he said during his daily press conference. He credited the " physical distancing measures Of this lesser acceleration. " We save time, he congratulated himself. But in no case did we get out of the woods. "

At the White House, the coordinator of the task force on the coronavirus, Deborah Birx, herself complimented on Wednesday California, which was mid-March, in second position for the number of deaths, behind the State of Washington, but which, thanks to its aggressive policy of containment, now appears in 6e position in the daily count of Johns Hopkins University.

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In fact, between New York and San Francisco, the figures show a considerable difference in the course of the epidemic. On March 10, New York had half the number of coronavirus cases that San Francisco: 7 to 14. Ten days later, Big apple had become the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States. And Thursday, April 2, it totaled 48,462 cases against 450 in San Francisco. With 1,397 deaths against 7 in San Francisco (67 counting the other cities of the Bay).

" In San Francisco, oThere is clearly an increase in the number of cases; but much slower, says Professor Romain Pirracchio, head of the anesthesia-resuscitation department at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco. Undeniably, movement limitation and social distancing decrees have played an important role. "

Population density as an explanation

Faced with the presence of the cruise liner a few kilometers from its shores Grand princess, with 3,400 people on board, including at least 42 who tested positive, San Francisco quickly realized the danger. On March 16, Mayor London Breed ordered containment measures. Three days later, Gavin Newson issued the same statewide decree, making him the first governor to extend a quasi-house arrest over such a vast territory and population. "This is what probably made it possible to keep the progression curve relatively flat"says the doctor. In New York, the order did not come until a week later.


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