France warns that the fourth wave of viruses could be affected in late July


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France could see a further rise in COVID cases in late July due to the spread of the most contagious Delta variant of the virus, a government spokesman said on Monday.

“Last week the epidemic is gaining ground again,” Gabriel Attal told France Inter radio, with the Delta variant now accounting for 30 percent of new infections in the country.

A fourth wave of infections is “a possibility” later this month, he said, echoing a warning from Health Minister Olivier Veran last 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 there are not enough people vaccinated despite the scope of supply, which could lead to an increase in cases.

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

Overall, the incidence rate of French infections stood at 21 per 100,000 people last Thursday, the latest data available, still below the alert level of 50, but with an increase of 10 per one hundred with respect to the previous week.

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

The health authorities reported on Sunday about 2,600 new cases during the previous 24 hours, an increase also compared to the last days, although far from the 35,000 daily cases seen at the height of the third wave that affected France in the April.

Only 36% of the population has been completely vaccinated with two doses, although the government has ruled out making the shots mandatory.

Prime Minister Jean Castex will also meet with local officials in parliament this week to discuss the need for vaccines for and nursing home staff.

The French Federation of Hospitals (FHF) says vaccination rates have stalled at 64% for hospital workers, and the delays express doubts about the safety of the shots.

France tackles virus variants as it prepares for tourists

© 2021 AFP

Citation: France warns that fourth wave of virus could be affected in late July (2021, July 5) recovered on July 5, 2021 at fourth-end-july.html

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