Covid: the epidemic to resurge this Fall in France?

Published by Caroline J. · Photos by My B. · Updated on 22 September 2021 at 15h30 · Published on 22 September 2021 at 09h08
As the health situation keeps on improving in France, is a resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic to be feared in the coming weeks? This is what is concerning some epidemiologists such as Pr. Arnaud Fontanet. “A resurgence of the epidemic this fall is expected”, he said this September 21 in Le Parisien.

The trend seems to be going on nicely for several days now. The new Covid-19 infection toll is decreasing. An improvement of the health situation is also seen in hospitals. So, is the end of the Covid-19 epidemic close or shall we fear a resurgence of the epidemic in the coming weeks in France? Scientific Council member Pr. Arnaud Fontanet would rather stay cautious and even alarmist. “A resurgence of the epidemic this fall is expected”, he said this September 21 in an interview with Le Parisien. “First because the climate conditions are likely but also because there are still unvaccinated people, numerous enough to cause an epidemic surge and put hospitals under pressure”, the epidemiologist explained.

This past September 14, Fontanet already shared his worries: “The situation is far more complex than before”, he claimed on RTL. “The whole Europe is living a moment where the curves are declining, a bit like last year in September (…) but there is definitely a resurgence risk”, he warned. “There is a potential resurgence because there is a population of unvaccinated people in those under 12 and because, in the adult population, people are not vaccinated yet. So, we shall expect it to go up again. I do not know when, but it will with the climatic factors”, the professor estimated.

But Pr. Arnaud Fontanet yet intended to sound reassuring because the vaccinal cover – although not enough today – will enable to prevent more strict restrictions. “Before, when a wave hit, we knew it will hit us hard. Now, vaccination works as a shield. It enables us to prevent more dramatic decisions such as curfews”, the told Le Parisien. “Unlike last year, I do not expect we need to go all the way to curfew or even lockdown to stop the epidemic wave, because 80% of the population is vaccinated, immunized or have been infected already”, a member of the Scientific Council said on RTL last week.

So, what to do in the event of an epidemic resurgence? According to Pr. Fontanet, “we need to adjust the current measures”, and especially “have recourse to the health pass, facemask-wearing in closed places, accept less solicitation, keep testing-alerting-protecting, a bit of home-working when possible and more testing in schools”.

As for the health pass – likely to be lifted in some departments – the epidemiologist warns: “if the health pass is removed in some departments, we need the rule to be clear for everyone. The French must be aware it can be reinstated as fast as it has been removed. At the least warning, we need to turn the screw and the earlier the better”, he insisted on in Le Parisien.

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