Is this the start of a seventh wave of coronavirus? Some indicators warn. “There is a resumption of the epidemic and it is completely unexpected compared to the season”* the infectiologist confirmed last weekend Benjamin Davido, Covid-19 Advisor at the Garches Hospital in Hauts-de-Seine, interviewed by Franceinfo. Since the beginning of June, the number of positive cases has increased, as has the number of hospital admissions.
100,000 cases in July?
On June 1st, more than 25,000 new contaminations were registered. 15 days later it’s double that. A few days ago, the 50,000 positive coronavirus test mark was exceeded for the first time since the end of April. If the curve goes further, the threshold of 100,000 daily cases could be exceeded by the start of the school holidays. For comparison, compared to the same time last year, there were fewer than 5,000 daily cases and the peak of the delta wave should be reached during the month of July.
The number of tests performed is increasing
Within two weeks, the number of tests increased by 26%. Between June 6th and 12th, almost 1.3 million PCR and antigen tests were validated, the statistics office (Drees) specified in a press release. That is three times less than at the end of March. Almost ten million tests were carried out during the Christmas holidays.
We also see, thanks to the curve below, that all age groups are affected by this growth of the epidemic, the youngest as well as the oldest. First it was the under-50s who contracted it, then the positivity rate increased among the over-60s.
Increase in hospital admissions
According to Public Health France, the consequences of this increase in cases for hospitals are still limited. In two weeks, hospitalizations increased by 14%. At the end of last week, there were an average of 500 new hospital patients every day. Their number had fallen below 14,000 on Wednesday, down from more than 25,000 during the last peak in April, including just under 850 in intensive care.
Two explanations: first, there is a lag between contagion and the development of a severe form of the disease, and then the effectiveness of the vaccine against severe forms of Covid-19. The number of intensive care admissions also remains stable.
The number of deaths is also not increasing. At the end of last week, between 40 and 50 deaths from Covid-19 were recorded every day. In late April and early May, more than a hundred people died every day.
How can this increase be explained?
If the virus spreads again at high speed, it is due to several variants of Omicron: BA.4, BA.5 and BA2.12.1. “The epidemic curve is exponential in France” Notes on franceinfo Antoine FlahaultEpidemiologist and Director of the Institute of Global Health at the Medical Faculty of the University of Geneva. “With the new current variants, which are more contaminating, from 10 to 15%, the epidemic finds fresh blood, although we have passed the period of the cold season.” Analysis for his part by the infectiologist Benjamin Davido.
After Guillaume Rozier, fFounder of the Covid Tracker website, on twitter : “We are seeing a similar epidemic surge in our neighbors (Italy, Germany, etc.). Some countries have already weathered this wave (Portugal, South Africa), which at its peak reached a number of cases half that of the Omicron wave, but a scarce number of hospitalizations.”
The government for its partdon’t talk about waves” at this point, but”stay extremely alert” announced his spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire on Tuesday “a communication to the Council of Ministers on June 22” on the measures that the executive intends to maintain after the end of the exit regime from the health emergency, scheduled for July 31.