Rise in delta variant cases delays easing restrictions in Southwest France

France on Wednesday decided to postpone the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions in a southwestern region of the country, while the government’s lead scientific adviser said a fourth wave of the virus was likely due to the rise of the Delta virus. variant.

Scientific and medical experts say the COVID Delta variant, which was first found in India, is more transmissible than other forms of the virus, and the rapid spread of the Delta variant around the world has led some countries to reset travel restrictions.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the high presence of the Delta variant in the Landes region of southwestern France meant France would delay lifting the COVID restrictions imposed in that area until July 6.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said earlier this week that the Delta variant now accounts for about 20% of French COVID cases.

“We do not want to risk the epidemic starting again. This means that the easing of the restrictive measures that are taking place at the national level today in Les Landes will be postponed until at least July 6,” Attal said.

“We have all the cards in hand to prevent a fourth wave of the epidemic,” Attal added, referring to how the virus could be kept at bay as more and more people get COVID vaccinations.

Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, the French government’s lead scientific adviser, previously said the spread of the Delta variant meant France would likely experience a fourth wave of COVID-19 – albeit a less severe one than the previous three waves.

Delfraissy’s warning was echoed by epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, who also expected a fourth wave of COVID-19 by September or October.

French health authorities reported 2,457 new COVID cases on Wednesday, the highest total since 11 days, and the seven-day moving average of daily new infections has now risen to 1,854 for the third day in a row.

That figure was above the 40,000 threshold 10 weeks ago.

France has had more than 111,000 COVID-19 deaths – the ninth highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world.

(REUTERS)

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