French Church A Victim of Paris Irréflexion
French Health Minister called the conference at the Evangelical Church in Alsace a tipping point in the spread of Wuhan virus around France, Europe and Africa but Paris should admit to its own irréflexion.
On February 29 a woman with two children were one of the first patients of Covid19 in Strasbourg. On that day health authorities informed the World Health Organisation about only two new cases. But the next day, forty-three were added to the statistics. A trio from the French city located in the border of Germany was likely part of the increase. The investigation of Radio France revealed that the health officials did not investigate contacts of her children. But their situation, particularly history of recent travels, not their mother's one, as it turned out later, could have led authorities to the discovery that was made much later. On that day Paris had begun implementing soft social-distancing measures in the Oise region and the town of La Balme-de-Sillingy perceived as the centres of the epidemic. More than 100,000 French were told to avoid unnecessary travel. "They can do the shopping, resort to teleworking, but cannot go to rallies," explained Minister of Health Olivier Véran. French television showed the inhabitants of La Balme-de-Sillingy walking the streets without preserving 1.5 metres distance.
In Germany, the topic of Covid19 was on the margin of national debate. On February 29, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Euro 125 million package to combat the hate crime and right-wing extremisms in Germany. Not only the European governments were confused, and undecided whether new sickness was a threat. Just two weeks earlier, the global health watchdog World Health Organisation finally invented a name for it.
The discovery made by the doctors from Occitanie, the region on South-East of France set off alarm bells. A resident from Nîmes received a positive diagnosis of Covid-19. He told health authorities that he has just returned from the city of Mulhouse where the charismatic church, Porte Ouverte Chrétienne, ran the popular Christian conference. Between March 17 and 21, approximately 2,000 participated in the event, according to the church statement. Upon his return, he hardly met anyone. He stopped only once for a sandwich in the cafe on the highway. The investigators connected the dots. “It was eureka, we realised that the church event was a source of his infection”, stated Christophe Lannelongue from the regional health agency. But it was not the first time that the French health authorities learned about possible transmission of the Covid-19 at the conference in Mulhouse.
The day before a medical doctor Jonathan Peterschmitt realised the problem when he saw the Sunday service half empty. Together with his family he took the Covid-19 test. The results were positive. He immediately informed local health authorities. But the officials realised they were unable to investigate the contacts since the conference was open. The local government did not see any need to arrange a system of the health surveillance of the participants even though the epidemic had its two clusters in northern France. Federal authorities did not introduce any ban on public meetings either.
French from all of the regions in France and international guests from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Guyana took part in the gatherings. When they returned home, some unknowingly spread the virus. Housekeepers, school teachers, workers from Peugeot, and even researchers from the secret Atomic Nuclear Laboratory, came to Mulhouse according to Radio France.
The pastor of the church, who together with eighteen family members suffered from the virus visibly very weak, stated on the video message that he came back from the hospital and was recovering "a little bit every day".
French authorities did not conduct any health monitoring of the participants
It was government irréflexion, mindlessness, to neglect to monitor participants’ health, not the church’s one. More than a month later, this fact appears not to be that obvious.
The church has been attacked, stated its authorities. The church alarmed by the state of mind of a part of the French population is appealing to the media and the authorities, wrote church’s Communication Officer Nathalie Schnoebelen. She requested for help to counteract against the false allegations which cause stigmatisation of the Porte Ouverte Chrétienne church and also all the Evangelicals in France.
In the interview for Journal de Dimanche daily newspaper newly nominated French health minister, Mr Véran expressed an opinion that had a potential for stigmatising and left it without any commentary: The epidemic spread nationally from Mulhouse.
French Minister, like many of his colleagues around the world, appears to overlook facts. The epidemic of Covid-19 began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the middle of December, according to the article in Lancet. The local doctors diagnosed the virus first time on December 31. It likely started to spread two weeks earlier since this is an incubation period. At that time thousands of inhabitants in Wuhan and the province had to be infected.
Despite that fact, the Chinese Communist regime allowed virus carriers to travel around the world during the Lunar Holidays. From at least January 24, the planes with thousands of the infected Chinese began to land in every part of the globe, including the biggest cities of Europe like Paris or Lyon. The investigation of Swiss-Lebanese independent journalist Ms Liliane Held-Khavam revealed that in December 2019 the large groups of Chinese, including tourists from Wuhan, participated in Christmas market in the city of Colmar in the distance of forty-seven miles (76 kilometres) from Mulhouse. According to Australia's Health Department records Chinese returnees from the holidays in Mainland brought Covid-19 to Australia. The unrestricted movement of infected Chinese was the biggest source of the worldwide infection with Covid-19. This fact remains to be unacknowledged. Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt stated that the church and the conference participants became the first victim of this sickness in France. The honest observer will never contest this conclusion. But Paris needs to admit to its irréflexion.