The lull was only short-lived. Covid-19 is once again being talked about in France, just a few weeks after the end of the eighth wave because, as many scientists and doctors feared, the epidemic is rebounding once again in France, favored by the drop temperatures and the end of barrier gestures. Will the Covars’ call to put the mask back on in certain places of life finally be heard?
Proof that things are getting worse, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne spoke about the epidemic on Tuesday, November 29. In front of the National Assembly, she launched a “solemn appeal” to the French, asking them to wear the mask again in public transport, in order to protect the most fragile. Referring to “decisive” gestures to roll back the epidemic, she recalled that “the virus has not disappeared” and that “the epidemic is still striking”. The Matignon tenant also insisted on the importance of the vaccine, while many eligible French people did not take their second booster dose.
The figures from Public Health France do indeed show a resumption of the epidemic, since 91,814 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday November 29 and the effective R is now at 1.3, which means that a sick person in infect more than one other. If France is now used to the rebounds of the epidemic, an unknown remains, the contagiousness of the new sequenced sub-variant. BQ1.1, that’s its name, “has all the cards in hand to become the majority in France”, explains to the Parisian Yannick Simonin, virologist. For now, scientists do not know its level of transmissibility or how it can thwart vaccines.
It is these unknowns that cast a chill over the month of December, which did not need it, three weeks before the Christmas holidays. In around thirty departments, the situation is already worrying with an incidence rate which has just exceeded 500 per 100,000 inhabitants and which is approaching the 1,000 mark in places. Here are which ones.