MAP: Where in France has the fewest coronavirus cases?

MAP: Where in France has the fewest coronavirus cases?
Patients being transferred out of Paris to less-affected areas.Photo: AFP
Paris and eastern France have, so far, born the brunt of the coronavirus epidemic, but which areas of the country have seen the fewest seriously ill people?

Regularly updated data from Santé Publique France counts coronavirus cases by region and every French region now has cases numbering in the hundreds. 

But French regions are pretty big – Nouvelle-Aquitaine is roughly the same size as Scotland – so there are wide variations on each département within the region.

READ ALSO Which parts of France are the worst affected by coronavirus

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And data released on Friday shows that there are 11 mainland France départements that currently have fewer than three coronavirus patients in intensive care per 100,000 of the population.

The number of cases in total is likely to be much higher, but at present France is not doing widespread testing, so only the patients ill enough to be hospitalised tend to appear on official statistics.

The départements of Eure, Charente, Haute-Corse, Lozère, Dordogne, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Côtes-d'Armor, Lot-et-Garonne, Ariège, Gers and Deux-Sèvres all have three or less patients in intensive care per 100,000 of the population.

The overseas French départements of Guyana, La Réunion, and Mayotte also fall into this category.

Over the course of the epidemic, 10 of the 11 regions have had fewer than five intensive care patients per 100,000 of the population, while the Brittany département of Cote d'Amor has had 12.

The départements also have very low death rates – less than two people per 100,000, while the national average is 12 per 100,000.

Lozère along with Cantal, French Guiana and La Réunion have so far recorded no coronavirus deaths.

The majority of the least affected départements are rural areas with a low population density.

“The epidemiological dynamics are by nature different because there is a lower concentration of people”, Mircea T. Sofonea, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases at the University of Montpellier, told Le Parisien.
 
“The fact that Paris has a high density and concentrates a lot of travel may explain the large number of cases. If there had been a big festival in one of the [least affected] départments, it could have accelerated the arrival of the epidemic.”
 
The deépartements also had relatively few cases of coronavirus cases when the national lockdown rules were brought in, dramatically slowing the spread.
 
The fact that cases are very unevenly distributed around France has been a lifeline to struggling hospitals in Paris and eastern France, with hundreds of seriously ill patients evacuated to areas that have fewer cases.
 
 
 
 

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