the essentials While the French are impatiently waiting for health regulations to be relaxed on Wednesday, June 9, the Delta variant is playing spoilers in the country. According to the regional health authority, around fifty people would be affected by this variant. Mister Vaccine Alain Fischer takes stock of La Dépêche du Midi.
Since Wednesday, June 2, there has been a suspicion of the existence of the Delta variant (the new name of the Indian variant) in the country. More contagious than the alpha variant (the English variant), which is already present in the majority in French territory, the arrival of the delta variant in the country is causing concern among residents and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional health authority about its possible spread all of France. When asked by Franceinfo, the director of ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine Benoît Elleboode stated that “the Delta variant would have a contamination rate 40% higher than the contamination rate of the so-called British variant”.
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On June 2, the ARS confirmed that a family in the Dax metropolitan area had been infected with the Delta variant of Covid-19. About thirty cases were added to the balance sheet on Friday June 4th. In addition, the ARS adds about twenty more cases based on an estimate. Regarding those affected, the director of ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine indicates that it is more likely to be unvaccinated young people who have not developed severe forms of the epidemic.
Of the 31 confirmed cases of Covid-19, two were sequenced as delta variants. The other 29 are still waiting to be sequenced. “We suspect a delta variant in around fifty patients […] who are waiting for sequencing at the beginning of the week, “emphasizes Benoît Elleboode, still on Franceinfo.
The Minister of Health Olivier Véran, who was invited on the set of BFMTV on Sunday, June 6th, stated: “We do not record any community programs of this type every week, so clusters are not an expansion of the epidemic. The teams on site are investigating, they will look for infected people, will obviously identify contact cases in order to isolate and test them. But they will also look for people who may have infected people who are positive themselves. “
Do we have to fear a scenario like England?
The UK has been facing an upswing in positive cases for the Delta variant for several days. It now represents more than half of the newly confirmed cases of Covid-19. The country was due to lift all health restrictions on June 21, but a grain of sand is gradually blocking the gears of deconfination. In order for the British to be able to find this famous life beforehand, the infection rate must have a value less than 1. Since May 28th, however, it has fluctuated slightly above it, between 1 and 1.1.
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“The situation in France is not exactly the same as in England,” recalls Olivier Veran. In England, they increased the incidence of the virus, almost doubling it in 2-3 weeks. Today we are not in a community spread that we have lost the ability to track. […] No major concerns at this stage, but decisive action on the other hand. We’re not easing our efforts, that would be really too stupid ”.
In the Landes in France the situation seems to be the same, but the vaccination strategy is different between the two countries, which according to Benoît Elleboode, director of ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine, could work in our favor. He points out that the UK has vaccinated its population without prioritizing the elderly, who are more likely to develop severe forms of the disease and thereby clutter hospitals. Which is not the case in France. “More than 80% of people over 65 are vaccinated,” he says. “Today this vaccination strategy is paying off in France and means that we can withstand a higher incidence rate than other countries because our fragile people are protected and therefore we are protecting our hospitals from being overwhelmed by severe forms.”
As of June 2, 43.2% of the residents of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region had received at least one dose of vaccine against Covid-19 as an indication. For the time being, there are no changes to the deconsolidation plan in France to be reported.
“What is happening in New Aquitaine is not a matter of concern”
When asked by La Dépêche du Midi, Chairman of the Anti-Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy Steering Committee, Alain Fischer, assures us that “what is happening in New Aquitaine is not of concern. We are still at rates that are much lower.” than in Île-de-France [NDLR : 99 nouveaux cas sur 7 jours pour 100 000 habitants en Île-de-France]even if the health authorities are closely monitoring the situation.
According to the data collected by the CovidTracker platform, the incidence rate in the Landes department reached 91 per 100,000 inhabitants, or more than 35%, in less than three weeks on Sunday 6 June. A high number compared to the regional average of 62 and the national average of 78.
A total of around 100 contaminations of the Delta variant were found in France.
A concrete action plan
In order to contain these sources of contamination and to stop the spread of the Delta variant, a special action plan was launched by the ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine this Monday, June 7th. In response to a question from TF1’s 8pm newspaper on Saturday June 5th, Didier Couteaud, country delegate at ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine, said there will be more screenings in colleges, high schools and businesses. “We will also be sending prevention messages to our intermediaries and we will undoubtedly set up some additional stalls with vaccination centers in the areas.” Finally, a traveling screening center is currently circulating in the infection area and in the surrounding areas.