French health minister warns of ‘fourth wave of Covid by end of July

France's health minister Olivier Véran has warned that the country could be facing a fourth wave of Covid cases by the end of July, driven by the delta variant which is causing a big spike in cases in the UK.

Covid cases in France have been tumbling since the end of May, but Sunday marked the fifth day in a row where numbers did not fall, prompting the health minister to issue a stark warning – not only is a fourth wave of cases inevitable, it could be here by the end of July.

Véran wrote on Twitter: “For the last five days, the virus has not decreased, it is increasing, due to the delta variant which is very contagious.

“The English example shows that a wave is possible from the end of July. We can limit it and limit the impact with health measures, vaccinations and test and trace.”

Cases in France now stand at an average of 2,500 a day – much lower than in the UK which is now over 10,000 per day, but growing.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Monday that the delta variant now accounts for 30 percent of all cases, up from 20 percent just a week ago.

Data from France shows that case numbers have plateaued or are rising in all age groups, although the rise is highest in the 20-29 year-old group. Cases are also rising in the 10-19 and 30-39 age groups.

Vaccination is now open to all over 12s, but younger age groups are less likely to be fully vaccinated since they became eligible later in the programme.

Among the 70 plus age groups, which have the highest percentage of fully vaccinated people, case numbers show no rise, as shown in the chart below by Le Parisien journalist Nicolas Berrod.

 

Source: French health minister warns of 'fourth wave of Covid by end of July' - The Local

 

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