Is France heading for a seventh wave of Covid-19? Indeed, for several weeks, the number of cases recorded on average each day is on the rise again, according to data from Public Health France. For good reason, these figures have tripled in three weeks, which proves that France is in the grip of an epidemic recovery. But “the worst is behind us”, reassures BFMTV Benjamin Rossi, infectious disease specialist.
“Now that everyone has had Covid-19 at least once or been immunized through vaccination, we will no longer know what we knew at the start.”
Indeed, according to the latest data from Public Health France, every day, the number of new positive cases averages 44,042. This figure knows a 49% increase compared to last week. However, new critical care admissions remain stable (on average 59 each day) and hospital deaths are still falling (- 18% compared to last week).
Covid-19: why the number of cases is increasing?
The fault with the Ba.4 and Ba.5 variant, more contagious than Ba.1 and Ba.2 variants. “A pre-publication by a Japanese team and a publication by a Chinese team highlight the role of immune escape, in particular via the 486V mutation”, recalls Samuel Alizon, CNRS Research Director with the online scientific journal The Conversation. However, some people could avoid reinfection, explains Emmanuel Piednoir, infectious disease specialist at Europe 1.
“As BA.5 derives from BA.2, we imagine that if a very large part of the population has been infected with BA.2, it will be partially protected against BA.5. Except for immunocompromised and most fragile patients. So it will lessen the intensity of the epidemic.”
However, the immunity acquired from the vaccine could be weaker, because the last reminders are starting to date. “If the protection conferred by an Omicron infection or a 3rd dose of vaccine remains significant after five months vis-à-vis a severe form, it is on the other hand very reduced vis-à-vis any infection”, analyzes Mircea T. Sofonea, lecturer in epidemiology and evolution of infectious diseases at the MIVEGEC laboratory in Montpellier. “The susceptibility of the population to the virus (that is to say during herd immunity), is therefore reconstituted over time, eventually opening up the possibility of an epidemic resumption.”
Even if this increase in cases is still under control and hospitals are not saturated, several emergency worker unions are sounding the alarm. Indeed, for them, if this progression continued, it could accentuate the state of saturation of services.
To take stock, Medisite lists the 11 departments in which the incidence rate once again exceeds 500.