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France faces new wave of COVID-19, says vaccination chief

France could face a new wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases caused by the new variants, Reuters reported citing French vaccination chief Alain Fischer.

With more than 95,000 daily cases on Tuesday, the number of cases in the country hit a two-month high.

Read also | Several European countries see rise in Covid infections due to Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants: report

Reuters quoted Fischer, speaking on France 2 television, that there was absolutely no doubt about the upsurge in Covid cases in the country once again.

He added his personal opinion on the need to reinstate the mandatory wearing of masks when using public transport and in crowded areas.

“The question is, ‘How strong is this wave?’ he added.

Two new subvariants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, are also causing an increase in cases in other European countries, particularly in Portugal.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), these Omicron subvariants have the ability to potentially become dominant in the region.

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The ECDC also added that while these variants do not pose a higher risk of serious illness than other forms of Omicron, they are more infectious than the latter and may lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.

The two-week delay between cases and hospitalization, which is the usual trend, is similar to that of deaths from COVID-19.

Since late May, France has seen steady growth in the number of Covid infections, with the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases nearly tripling between May 27’s toll of 17,705 and Tuesday’s of 50,402.

Read also | After Macron hands over a suspended parliament, France risks an impasse

However, the total number of infections is still seven times lower than the record 366,179 reached at the start of the year.

The number of hospitalizations due to Covid fell to a six-month low of 13,876 on Saturday; however, it has risen by 458 over the past three days, to 14,334, which is almost a three-week high.

The death toll from COVID-19 in France also rose by 56 over 24 hours on Tuesday to reach 149,162.

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Post expires at 4:15pm on Saturday July 2nd, 2022