Delta “dominating in a few days”, new measures under study – .

Delta “dominating in a few days”, new measures under study – .

The Delta variant of Covid-19 will be dominant in France in a few days, the Minister of Health said today, ahead of a meeting of ministers on Monday July 12 where they are to discuss the need for new Covid measures.
Minister of Health Oliver Véran Told France Inter that the Delta variant would be dominant “probably by the weekend”, and called on people to continue to “stay vigilant”.

the most recent figures (yesterday) show Delta at 50% of daily cases, but Mr. Véran declared: “The [Delta] The variant is more contagious, 60% more, than the other strains we’ve seen so far, and it currently replaces all others.

“The incidence rate [cases per 100,000 people] is on the rise, although it is much lower than before. Every week there are around 50% more infections than the week before, which is, alas, what we have seen at the start of previous waves. “

He said, however, that that does not necessarily mean that we will see a new wave, but that we must remain vigilant. The “most likely” scenario was that the virus would now continue to spread across the country, he said.

President Macron and ministers are to hold a “health meeting” on Covid on Monday, July 12. All subsequent decisions are expected to be revealed to the public on Tuesday, July 13.

The meeting’s agenda will include topics such as whether additional restrictions will be introduced for the worst-affected areas of the country, whether to introduce compulsory vaccination for caregivers, and questions on extension of the health pass rules to other situations.

The ministers did not “rule out” the possibility of President Macron presenting new anti-Covid measures, possibly as early as Monday 12th, before the 7:00 p.m. meeting.

The president is also expected to address the public on Wednesday, July 14, apparently to present his reform plan ahead of the 2022 presidential elections, although that may now include the announcement of new Covid-19 measures as well.

A source said: “We have two areas of tension; Covid-19, and the economic restart. These will be the two major pillars of the end of the mandate.

New Covid measures could delay any further reform, it has been suggested, as “the fight against the virus becomes a priority”.

Mr Macron has previously said he will have to “make tough decisions” over the summer, and will not be able to “handle the summer smoothly”.

Read more: Delta variant threatens to spoil summer, says French Minister of Health

Additional restrictions against Covid?

A government source Told The world: “Several measures are being considered [to avoid] a fourth wave.

President Macron is said to have asked ministers to think about “all possible defensive and offensive measures”.

This comes after government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “There is a worrying situation in France. [Delta] is much more aggressive and extremely fast.

Hospitalizations remain relatively low (749 in the past seven days), but the total number of new cases crossed the 4,000 mark on Wednesday July 7 and stood at 4,442 yesterday (July 8).

An Elysee adviser said: “The curve is going up exponentially because this variant goes four times faster than the UK. [Alpha] variant, which spread itself twice as fast as the original strain.

The situation is rapidly worsening in 55 departments, particularly in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Ile-de-France regions.

Additional measures such as reducing the authorized capacity of certain places, such as places of entertainment and recreation, could be considered; but at this stage new local or national confinements are not envisaged, The world reported.

For now, Mr. Véran has declared that vaccination is the “trump card of [light at the] end of the tunnel ”, and said that“ vaccination protects 100% against containment ”.

Read more: France calls for massive vaccination against Covid: “The risk of a new wave is real”

Compulsory vaccination of caregivers?

Today, Véran said ministers were working to agree on a “consensus” on compulsory vaccination, but clarified that to date, “at this stage, no decision has been taken. “.

Scientific advisory body The Scientific Council is in favor compulsory vaccination of caregivers.

Last week, Mr. Véran and the Minister of Autonomy Brigitte Bourguignon wrote a joint letter to the directors of hospitals and EHPADs, specifying: “Our goal is that by September at least 80% of professionals in EHPAD and health facilities have received at least one dose.

“If that doesn’t happen, we will pave the way for mandatory vaccination for healthcare professionals. “

The letter says that only 55% of workers in nursing homes and long-term care units are currently vaccinated with at least one dose.

“This is insufficient, especially given the vulnerability of residents and patients to the spread of disturbing variants,” they wrote.

Read more: Covid France: Mandatory vaccines for caregivers possible in the fall

On June 29, Mr. Véran declared FranceInfo Radio that immunizing caregivers would reduce the risk of virus waves in the elderly and vulnerable.

“I don’t want to blame the caregivers – their job is complicated and they have had a very difficult year,” he said. ” [But] the only way to put the Covid behind us is to protect the most vulnerable among us; those who, even vaccinated, are still at risk.

Extended pass health requirements?

The Scientific Council is also in favor of reducing the acceptable capacity for events and requiring a valid health passport for smaller events as well. Currently, only events of more than 1,000 people require it.

Access to places such as restaurants, cultural activities, sports venues could also be made dependent on it, with an emphasis on proof of vaccination, the council said.

Evidence of a recent Covid test should also be allowed, but the provision of free tests could be phased out by the fall, and they could become chargeable as they are in several neighboring countries (such as the UK, where they are only free for people showing symptoms or having been in contact with infected people).

Professor Alain Fischer, head of the government’s vaccination program, also recommended that the pass might be required to access public places such as cinemas, theaters and restaurants. This could push more people to get vaccinated, he said, as unvaccinated people would effectively be banned.

Read more: EU health pass aims to crack down on fake Covid certificates
Read more: France examines pricing for Covid tests carried out for travel and leisure

“‘Personal suitability’ tests” should no longer be free from September, he said.

The Scientific Council also warned of the dangers of people returning from vacation abroad with the Covid, including the Delta and other variants.

He said it is therefore important to educate people about the potential risks and to do as much testing as possible on people arriving, especially from countries with a high incidence rate or a high level of the Delta variant.

PCR testing 48 to 72 hours before coming should be required, he said (currently antigen testing is acceptable and no testing is required for those who have been fully vaccinated).

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