Fourth wave

France registers 18,000 new Covid-19 cases, a record increase

Nurses hold placards as they march during an anti-vaccine protest in Paris, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Tens of thousands of people protested across France on Saturday against the government's latest measures to curb rising COVID-19 infections and drive up vaccinations in the country. On 20 July, French health authorities marked the biggest increase of people testing positive.
Nurses hold placards as they march during an anti-vaccine protest in Paris, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Tens of thousands of people protested across France on Saturday against the government's latest measures to curb rising COVID-19 infections and drive up vaccinations in the country. On 20 July, French health authorities marked the biggest increase of people testing positive. AP - Michel Euler

French Health Minister Olivier Veran  has said that new Covid-19 infections were increasing at an unprecedented rate due to the Delta variant, after 18,000 cases were reported for the previous 24 hours.

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In an adress to members of parliament, Veran said that he was "alarmed" by this worrying increase attributed to the Delta variant, responsible for just under 79 percent of the new cases. Just a week ago figures remained below 7,000 cases, resulting in an increase of some 150 percent in one week. 

Even though Covid-19 figures are on the rise again in France, the still remain far below the peak in 7 November 2020, when 83,324 new cases were registered in one single day. But as today's increase is worse, health authorities warn for a more serious "fourth wave."
Even though Covid-19 figures are on the rise again in France, the still remain far below the peak in 7 November 2020, when 83,324 new cases were registered in one single day. But as today's increase is worse, health authorities warn for a more serious "fourth wave." © Screengrab Worldometers

"We have never seen this, neither with the (original) Covid, nor with the English strain nor the South African or Brazilian variants," he said.

In total, 37,52 million people in France have received at least one vaccination, bringing the country's coverage to 45,2%.

And while the number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care  has been gradually declining  (IC occupancy rates went down from 21,8 percent on July 6 to 18 percent on July 19) specialists fear that the trend may be reversed.

Under a bill to be put a vote in the coming days, people who want to eat in restaurants, go to the cinema or take a long-distance train will have to be vaccinated or produce a negative Covid test.

 

 

 From September on, vaccinations will become mandatory for healthcare and retirement home workers.  Macron's announcement of the measures this month sparked a scramble for vaccine shots in a country that was one of the most vaccine-shy in the world at the start of the pandemic.

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