Covid-19: in France, the epidemic continues to grow but at a slower pace


A little more than 45,000 new positive cases are noted daily.

The Omicron variant may be the object of all the attention, it is for the moment Delta which continues its race in France. The incidence rate (number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has exceeded the level of the peaks of the third and fourth waves, according to the epidemiological bulletin published on Friday by Public Health France, which covers the week of November 29 to December 5 . On the rise, this indicator of the strength of the epidemic peaks at 661 among 30-39 year olds and approaches 1030 among 6-10 year olds. “A student in a class of 25 children has about a one in five chance of being infected with the virus during the day, which is a high risk”, underlines the Pr Philippe Amouyel, epidemiologist and professor of public health at the Lille University Hospital.

SEE ALSO – Omicron variant: “The cases are mostly light”, reassures the EMA

A little more than 45,000 new positive cases are noted daily. The use of care for suspected Covid is also on the rise in all age groups. At the same time, even if it is about two weeks later, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions are still increasing – without reaching the levels of previous waves, thanks to the vaccination. As of December 9, more than 13,000 patients were hospitalized, including 2,461 in critical care.

In decline in Eastern Europe

If the epidemic is at a very high level, its progression is happening at a slower pace than the previous days. “We were at + 60% of cases in one week, then + 40%, now it’s between + 25% and + 30%”, thus indicated Olivier Véran Thursday on France 2. In addition, the effective reproduction rate of the virus, which reflects the number of people infected on average by an infected person, decreases. This suggests “A slight slowdown in viral circulation”, according to Public Health France. Antoine Flahault’s team, professor of public health at the University of Geneva, estimates this reproduction rate at 1.17. When it is permanently below 1, the epidemic will decrease. According to the scientist, the peak of the contamination curve “Could be reached by the end of next week”. Corn “We do not yet know whether it will be a maximum point followed by a descent of the curve or the start of a plateau, associated with a constant but high number of new daily cases”.

The Germans had been less affected by the first wave and were less vaccinated than the French. Then they took drastic measures

Philippe Amouyel, epidemiologist and professor of public health at the Lille University Hospital.

The fifth wave is already in decline in Europe in many countries, especially in the East, the region affected first. In Germany, where the peak was reached at the end of November, contamination is decreasing. “The comparison is difficult, notes Philippe Amouyel, because the situations are very different. The Germans had been less affected by the first wave and were less vaccinated than the French. Then they took drastic measures. ”

Whatever the evolution of the epidemic in France, the situation will continue to deteriorate in the hospital. “Even if the epidemic were in decline today, the peak of the occupation of critical care would not arrive before around New Year’s Eve”, insists Mircea Sofonea, epidemiologist in Montpellier. For Antoine Flahault, the challenge for the next few weeks will be to stem the circulation of the virus more effectively than last winter. According to him, “To be satisfied in January with a high plateau would place the country in a very vulnerable situation vis-à-vis the uncertain outcome of this pandemic”.

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