Is this the beginnings of a seventh wave of coronavirus. Some indicators alert. “There is a resumption of the epidemic and it is completely unexpected compared to the season” affirmed last weekend the infectiologist Benjamin Davido, Covid-19 referent at 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 hospitalizations. These last
100,000 cases in July?
On June 1, more than 25,000 new contaminations were recorded. 15 days later, it’s double. The average over the past week is back above 50,000 cases per day, for the first time since May 2. In the past 24 hours, 95,217 cases have been identified, up 46% compared to last Tuesday.
If the curve continues to progress, the threshold of 100,000 daily cases could be crossed at the start of the school holidays, at the beginning of July. By way of comparison, compared to last year at the same time, there were less than 5,000 daily cases and the peak of the Delta wave was to be reached during the month of July.
The number of tests carried out increases
In two weeks, the number of tests increased by 26%. Between June 6 and 12, nearly 1.3 million PCR and antigenic tests were validated, specifies the statistics department (Drees) in a press release. This is three times less compared to the end of March. During the Christmas holidays, nearly ten million tests had been carried out.
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. It was first those under 50 who were infected, then the positivity rate increased among those over 60.
Increase in hospitalizations
According to data from Public Health France, the consequences of this increase in cases are still limited for hospitals. However, hospitalizations are increasing: +14% over the past two weeks. Three weeks ago, there were less than 400 admissions per day on average, today there are almost 600. The last peak dates back to April, with more than 25,000 hospitalizations, including just under 850 in critical care.
Two explanations: first there is a delay between contamination 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 critical care admissions also remains stable.
The number of deaths is not increasing either. At the end of last week, between 40 and 50 deaths from Covid-19 were recorded each day. At the end of April and the beginning of May, there were more than a hundred deaths daily.
How to explain this increase
If the virus is spreading again at high speed, it is because of 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 Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva. “With the new current variants, which are more contaminating, from 10 to 15%, the epidemic finds fresh blood even though we have passed the period of the cold season” analysis for his part, the infectiologist Benjamin Davido.
According to Guillaume Rozier, ffounder of the Covid Tracker site, on Twitter : “We are seeing a similar epidemic increase in our neighbors (Italy, Germany, etc.). Some countries have already passed this wave (Portugal, South Africa) which reached, at the peak, a number of cases half as low as the Omicron wave , but a close number of hospitalizations.”
For its part, the governmentdon’t talk about waves” at this point, but “remain extremely vigilant” said his spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire on Tuesday, announcing “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 state of health emergency, scheduled for July 31.