While all eyes are on the Porte Ouverte Chrétienne de Mulhouse, a testimony relayed by economist Liliane Held-Khawam evokes a proven case of coronavirus in December 2019 in Colmar.
e 20h from France 2 wanted to retrace Sunday "the thread of development of the epidemic". Laurent Delahousse asks "how and where this crisis started" and how it "has now spread over a large part of the territory".
To do this, a report mentions the gathering of the Porte Ouverte Chrétienne in Mulhouse, presented as "a gathering that would in fact have widely disseminated COVID-19 throughout France", based on the words of Christophe Lannelongue, director regional ARS of Grand-Est. The latter evokes "a kind of atomic bomb which has fallen on us".
“At the time of the rally at the end of February, the epidemic still seemed under control. Only one victim has been identified in France. No barrier gesture is then recommended. [...] At the entrance of the church, no register, no registration, the participants leave freely at home throughout France. And very quickly, many suspicious cases appear among the faithful and their entourage. A nurse from Strasbourg would have contaminated 250 of her colleagues. Three Corsican retirees would also have spread the virus in Ajaccio and some faithful left contaminated as far as Guyana. »
The journalist then evokes the standard of the SAMU of Mulhouse which "explodes like never before", with "1000 calls per day, double the normal". Note, as recalled France Inter, that the ARS Grand-Est and the Prefecture then called on the participants to contact the health authorities.
On March 2, it is the case of a Christian from Nîmes who makes it possible to make the link with the Porte Ouverte Chrétienne. The France 2 report then quotes Christophe Lannelongue again.
“Patients are starting to arrive in serious condition. In an ideal world, it would have been necessary to move towards mass containment as soon as the Occitanie alert was received. "
Le national containment was announced on March 16 by President Macron and took effect on March 17 at noon.
The conclusion therefore presents the Mulhouse gathering as "one of the main foci of the virus in France".
“In all, several hundred faithful would have been infected in Mulhouse. The evangelical gathering is one of the main sources of the virus in France. "
But Samuel Peterschmitt, pastor of the Christian Open Door, himself affected by COVID-19, recalls that the church is rather "The alert threshold".
“We are the ones who sounded the alarm and carried out the first screenings. It was the members of the Open Door who were the first to be detected. But it is clear that they were not the first sick. Only the first detected. Hence the fact that we are convinced that we are not the starting point, but the alert threshold. "
He specifies that "very suspicious patients of COVID-19 were already infected at the end of January and at the beginning of February".
“It is now increasingly clear that very suspicious COVID-19 patients were already infected at the end of January and the beginning of February. In support of this, there is the observation of an upsurge in influenza-like illnesses. And at that time, these symptoms were not perceived as COVID-19, but today, there are suggestive signs, which were already reported, such as loss of smell and taste in particular. And these sick victims of the contagion, were without link, neither between them, and without link with the church of the Open Door. "
Liliane Held-Khawam is an economist. She just posted on blog the testimony of an inhabitant of Colmar. She specifies that he was "tested positive for COVID-19 in December 2019". This patient, the "doctor who managed the file" and "the virologist who had the test done" remain anonymous for the moment.
[Update] A resident of Colmar tested positive for Covid-19 in... December 2019. Audio testimony. https://t.co/vKUxA5iYbO
- Liliane Held-Khawam (@k_lhk) March 29, 2020
This 46-year-old inhabitant of Colmar says he is "in good health" and has not left French territory in the 6 months preceding the onset of his symptoms.
“I was affected by the coronavirus at the beginning of December 2019 without having left French territory for more than six months. On December 3, I had my first symptoms which were manifested by enormous fatigue, the previous days, very painful headaches, a drop in blood pressure [...], loss of taste, smell for at least 3 days, fever naturally which rose very suddenly and which the paracetamol did not bring down much, also sensations that the infection descended into the respiratory tract, that is to say larynx, pharynx and lungs . This was followed by a devastating secondary pulmonary infection to the point of hearing my breathing wheezing, as if I had been asthmatic, and this in less than 96 hours. And all this despite the treatment with aerosols and antibiotics prescribed by a doctor friend. However, it took me almost four weeks after December 23 to recover my total respiratory and pulmonary faculties, because an untimely cough kept bothering me. »
The man clarified that his “cardiologist friend” allowed him to have “the diagnosis of another virologist friend”.
“I thank my cardiologist friend who gave me the diagnosis of another virologist friend working in a very reputable pharma company, for confirming my virus infection. There are several exams including a PCR and several other in-depth exams. "
We contacted this witness by telephone. He evokes several risks at the origin of his contamination, including the presence of many Chinese tourists at the Colmar Christmas market, but also the return from China of his mother and his stepfather, to whom he kept his son. . It was his son who fell ill first. The witness mentions two weeks of flu symptoms.
"He didn't have hissing lungs. It appeared like a big flu for 15 days. [...] It was longer than usual but it was not so violent as at home. »
When he mentions his own illness, the witness affirms "I have never seen such a thing". He specifies that the cardiologist speaks of “unusual pneumopathic signs”.
“I started to worry because the fever was still high. [...] On the radio scanner of the lungs, I had 5 spots, 4-5 spots on the lungs. [...] I did not expect to be struck down in this way. [...] It was enormous. [...] A cut breath, a wheeze like that, I never had. [...] It was overwhelming. It was very, very, very violent. »
The witness then referred to several people around him who had been ill, including a pharmacist and a dentist.
For Liliane Held-Khawam, this testimony "is of capital importance". Among other reasons, because he tested positive, that his infection "dates back to November 2019, if we take into account the incubation period of 14 days", and that he "did not leave the French territory during the 6 months preceding his infection ”and therefore cannot be“ patient zero ”.
The economist then affirms on his blog:
“The virus was therefore already present on Alsatian / French soil. The management of the epidemic started months late. "
Should we therefore always consider the large number of confirmed cases linked to the Christian Open Door as "a kind of atomic bomb which has fallen on us" or, in view of this new testimony, as "the threshold of alert" revealing? of the start of the pandemic in France?
Image Credit: 2017 Christian Open Door © Nathalie Schnoebelen - Wikimedia CC4