Latest Covid News from France

The Delta variant is the main form of Covid-19 circulating in France, and is responsible for the huge spike in cases recorded over the past few days. Prime Minister Jean Castex has admitted:

…..we are in the fourth wave.

Photo
ICU staff treat a Covid-19 patient at a hospital near Paris. Image: lain Jocard/AFP

Last week, Health Minister Olivier Véran had told MPs that total cases had increased 150% in a week because of the fast-spreading variant. The rise, he said, was ‘unprecedented’.

The French government has rolled out the health passport to venues including cinemas, tourist sites, cafés, bars, shopping centres and long-distance travel, as well as making vaccines compulsory for health workers.

Meanwhile on a local level, many authorities, including those in the Alpes-Maritimes where I live, are reinstating compulsory face masks in the street and in some areas bars and restaurants are closing early.

Rising case numbers

If the 18,000 new cases number mentioned in Parliament last Tuesday sound bad, the figures are continuing to rise.

France recorded 21,539 new Covid-19 cases last Wednesday – a figure Health Minister Olivier Véran said showed the “gravity” of the health crisis. He warned that models showed infection numbers would peak at the end of the summer, at levels that could overload hospitals. A further 21,909 cases were reported the following day.

This graph below, from le Parisien journalist Nicolas Berrod, shows the steep rise of recent days.

 

Incidence rate

The current national positivity rate, according to the Covidtracker website run by French data scientist Guillaume Rozier, is over 3%  and the R-rate is at 2.12, meaning that the virus is spreading again, rather than being in retreat as it was when that figure was below 1.

The national number of cases per 100,000 people currently stands at 179 – but there are massive local differences, as this map shows.

Hospital admissions

But with almost half the French population now fully vaccinated, how do increasing case numbers affect hospitals?

The number of people hospitalised and in intensive care has been falling for several weeks at the national level. But the sudden and significant rise in infections has health professionals fearing the worst.

There is usually a time lag of two to three weeks between a rise in cases and a rise in hospital numbers.

Between 1June and 30 June, the number of people hospitalised almost halved from 16,088 to 8,451 likewise the numbers in ICU fell by 50% but are now rising again which is understandably worrying medical staff. On average, 200 new people are entering hospital every day, according to official figures, compared to 113 at the beginning of July.

According to Véran, 96 % of people who end up with the most serious forms of Covid are not fully vaccinated.

Deaths

While increases in low numbers appear disproportionately higher when listed as a percentage, Covidtracker also demonstrates that the number of deaths was falling much more quickly at the end of June, and has stagnated in recent days.

 Image: covidtracker.fr 

Vaccinations

What might mitigate against hospitalisations and deaths is the number of people who are now vaccinated against Covid-19.

Castex has set a new target for vaccinations – 50 million by the end of August.

And the Health Ministry’s figures show that more than 39 million people in France have already had at least one dose of vaccine – with more than 32 million fully inoculated.

 

However, there is some way to go before ‘herd immunity’ levels are achieved.

Some of the increase can be put down to President Emmanuel Macron’s address on 12 July, when he announced plans to extend the health pass. An immediate and sharp rise in bookings followed his announcement.

 

What happens next?

Almost six million French people made an appointment to receive a first vaccine dose in the nine days after President Emmanuel Macron’s speech announcing the new measures. Most of those will be fully vaccinated by the end of August, taking the total number a good chunk of the way to the government’s 50 million target. In addition, plans have been mooted to take vaccination services into colleges and lycees early in the new school year to catch unvaccinated school children aged 12 and over as soon as possible.

But not everyone is sure that a return to normality will be rapid, even with vaccines. Noted immunologist and government Covid adviser Jean-François Delfraissy has warned that new variants could slow things down.

The return to normal life may be 2022, or 2023. We will win, but I think we have entered into something longer.

 

50 Comments on “Latest Covid News from France

  1. Wow, I thought it was bad in America. We must keep praying that the virus quickly run its course so lives are saved. Thank you for sharing and remain safe.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If we let the gov normal will return after the next elections of 2022! Here even to go into a bar they ask for the health pass which have us stranded again! And the Chinese…la vie est belle!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People (including me) and politicians grow tired of the efforts necessary to control the pandemic and want to relax at the first signs of progress. SARS-CoV-2 could care less how tired and frustrated we get or how much we miss travel and want things to be “normal.” again. The virus never tires. It never gets frustrated. It just keeps on keeping on until we finally put an end to its ability to spread.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Here in Trinidad & Tobago cases are fluctuating, but people are being rather difficult when it comes to following protocols, then there are persons who are hesitant about the vaccines… hmmmm, I think a full return to the usual looks more like 2023… maybe…
    But we’ll see how it goes, lets just keep trying to keep ourselves as safe as we can…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Johnson varient not the Delta varient, I am on the look out for a map to see how it spread to Europe, because I am betting its come from the UK after our government refused to put India on the red list

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understood the Delta variant arrived in parts of Europe and North America at around the same time as it arrived in the U.K. Initially, it spread far quicker in parts of the U.K. than elsewhere in the world.

      It’s easy for us the onlookers with hindsight to say what ought to happened, but it does seem as though most countries would have benefited if all borders had closed sooner.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I completely agree that it is much easier in hindsight, however with the delta variant, Johnson closed off countries like Pakistan a good week before India, at a time, when it was spreading all through India, rumour had it, it was because of a trade deal they were trying to close at the time, so keeping our borders open was a sweetener. TBH I can firmly believe that of Johnson, who cares nothing for the UK population unless you are in the top 2%

        Liked by 3 people

  6. same here in NJ. 1 step forward, 2 steps back. We had a breather for one month and a half and now we roll back, first the masks are back for vaccinated people, then testing then quarantine . Borders are closed (since March 2020 ! ) but not for everyone obviously, the variants didn’t come by foot in the US which is not bordering the countries where the variants are from, right ? But like you say the top 2% have other agendas and do their business as usual . However they don’t live in a vacuum and somebody is piloting the planes they are taking, somebody is serving them, cleaning their houses where they brought back the variants, driving them around in cars etc… Hopefully we won’t have another total lockdown

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Latest Covid News from France – Speedflash 10

  8. Pingback: Latest Covid News from France — View from the Back – Alexisquotes

  9. The virus is not going to leave us. Being a retrovirus it has the capability to change itself repeatedly in order to survive. It’s the same kind of virus as the Aids causing virus HIV, meaning finding a vaccine for lifetime is not possible. Anyway, its been a year and half dealing with the virus and its consequences. I think we have grown a lot. We have learnt new ways of life, importance of things and poeple we took for granted and so much more. At wordskraft we have several blogs that have captured the true evolution of poeple from various fields. After all of us were on the same storm, though not on the same boat. So if you all visit our site Wordskraft and left comments letting us know your thoughts on the blogs, we will be honored.
    #MyWordsKraft

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angshita, thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. I think you’re correct and we’re going to continue to live with Covid.

      Liked by 1 person

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