In France, the authorities fear a fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic looming on the horizon, with in particular an increase in contamination and an increase in hospitalizations linked to the virus.
In this worrying context, health and political authorities have constantly sounded the alarm in the face of a situation that could deteriorate seriously at any time, especially in the wake of a resumption of the epidemic in several neighboring countries.
The situation in France “clearly resembles the start of a fifth wave. The circulation of the virus accelerates with 40% more in a week. This is what we have known during the previous waves ”, warned at the end of the week, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran.
Faced with an epidemic which “resumes strongly and everywhere” in Europe, France is entering “a period of risk”, for its part warned the government spokesman Gabriel Attal.
Indeed, the health situation continues to deteriorate in the European Union and is considered “very worrying” in ten countries and “worrying” in ten others, according to the European agency in charge of diseases.
But if France is placed by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) in the category that raises “moderate concern”, the latest figures from the French public health agency paint a most worrying picture.
In the country, the alert level has been strengthened in recent days, as the number of new cases of Covid-19 has risen above the 10,000 on average over the last seven days, according to official figures.
In addition, the incidence rate has returned to above 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last seven days, according to Public Health France, a first since September.
For comparison, the incidence rate was 54 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on November 1. Viral circulation has therefore almost doubled in France in the space of two weeks, a sign of an epidemic resumption on the national territory.
In its weekly report of November 11 corresponding to week 44 of the year, the health agency reports an acceleration of the circulation of the virus on the metropolitan territory accompanied by a strong increase in the incidence rate since the beginning. of the month of November.
On the rise in all regions, the corrected incidence rate exceeded 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 21 departments, according to the agency, which specifies that during the same period, at the national level, the corrected incidence rate reached 90 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants (compared to 62 in week 43), an increase of + 44%.
Figures from the health agency also warn of a 3% increase in hospitalizations and 4% in intensive care admissions.
In this alarming context, especially after the discovery of what appears to be a new variant of the virus in a school in Brittany, the health authorities have decreed the return of the wearing of the mask compulsory for all students in primary schools as of Monday .
And in order to speed up the recall campaign, President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the maintenance of the “health pass” for people over 65 will be conditioned on the third dose of vaccine from December 15.
Macron, who underlined in a televised address that the latest figures on the epidemic situation constitute a “warning sign”, called for “the greatest vigilance” which “pushes us to act”.
“Get vaccinated to protect yourself”, he had launched to the address of the six million unvaccinated French people, announcing at the same time the launch from the beginning of December of a recall campaign for the 50-65 and maintaining the mask in schools.
In the media, the debate is now launched about a possible containment of unvaccinated people, like the decision taken at the weekend by Austria, to curb the spread of the virus, but also to ” encourage the French to be vaccinated.
But for now, the authorities insist on the importance of vaccination, the + sanitary pass + and respect for barrier gestures to avoid this dreaded fifth wave with all that it could entail, in particular in terms of restrictive measures. And in view of the situation in Europe and in several countries around the world, a possible tightening of the screws should not be ruled out.
SL (with MAP)