As the number of cases of Delta variants increases, France warns of the fourth wave by the end of July

France could see another spike in Covid cases in late July due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus, the government spokesman said Monday.

“Over the past week, the epidemic has regained ground,” Gabriel Attal told France Inter radio, with the Delta variant now responsible for 30 percent of new infections in the country.

A fourth wave of infections is “a possibility” by the end of this month, he said, following a warning from Health Minister Olivier Veran late Sunday.

Several countries, including Britain and Russia, have already seen alarming jumps in new cases due to the variant, which was first identified in India.

French officials acknowledge that despite adequate supplies, not enough people are being vaccinated, which could lead to an increase in the number of cases.

“We’ve seen an explosion (of cases) in the UK that happened very quickly after the first red flags, and we’re seeing these signs in our country,” Attal said.

Overall, France’s infection rate was 21 per 100,000 people since last Thursday, the most recent data available, still below the alert level of 50, but up 10 percent from the previous week.

“The UK example shows that a wave is possible from the end of July,” Veran warned on Twitter that a combination of vaccines, testing and social distancing could limit its impact.

Depuis 5j, le virus ne bearish plus, il reaugmente. One cause of the variant delta qui est très contagieux. L’exemple anglais montre qu’une vague est possible des la fin Juillet. Nous pouvons la limiter et en limiter l’impact sanitaire: gestures barriers, vaccine, tester/alerter/protéger

— Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) July 4, 2021

Health authorities on Sunday reported nearly 2,600 new cases in the past 24 hours, also an increase from recent days, although far from the 35,000 daily cases seen at the height of the third wave that hit France in April.

Only 36 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated with two doses, although the government has ruled out making the injections mandatory.

Prime Minister Jean Castex is set to meet local officials and party leaders in parliament this week to discuss the need for vaccines for health professionals and staff at old people’s homes.

The French Federation of Hospitals (FHF) says the vaccination rate for hospital staff has stagnated at 64 percent, with holdouts raising doubts about the safety of the shots.

(AFP)

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