This Monday January 17, 2022, interviewed by France Inter about the health situation in France, Institut Pasteur Pr. Arnaud Fontanet intended to sound rather optimistic, stating “the worst-case scenario is receding, the level has started to drop”. According to the Scientific committee member, contaminations have passed the peak in Île-de-France, and is to have soon in the rest of the country: “the infection toll will decrease in February and reach a very low level in March”.
To justify this decline, Arnaud Fontanet underlined the importance of vaccine that has “a fundamental part to play for the protection against severe disease”, but the professor also hailed the French’s common efforts since the beginning of 2022. The latter are said to have reduced the number of contacts, enabling to avoid a “health catastrophe” at the hospital. “We had projections that said if contacts were cut down 20%, it could divide hospitalizations by two, it seems it is what happens”, he said.
As for the situation in hospitals, Arnaud Fontanet considers “admissions are to continue to rise for a few days but the peak is to be reached soon”. Yet, “we can expect hospitals stay highly requested all February long”. As a matter of fact, “it is not excluded that Delta increases in the coming weeks”, the professor already warns.
As for the future, Arnaud Fontanet states: “We don’t exclude a sixth or seventh wave, but we’ll be armed better. The virus will settle in, it will spread and probably lead to Covid epidemics in the coming years. What is important is that at every wave, we have reinforced our immunity. And over time, we grow protected against severe disease”.