France in red by Covid, especially among young people, because of the Delta variant. In the last seven days, the incidence rate is 248 per 100,000 inhabitants in Paris, when in Europe the numbers of the pandemic have begun to decline.
This Wednesday the state of urgency in Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, in the French West Indies.
Britain plans to lift travel restrictions for tourists vaccinated with approved doses from the United States and the EU from next Monday, without quarantine, but so far it is not known what they will do with France.
A decision that will bring together thousands of families, who have not seen each other for 18 months. There are eight other European countries where the epidemic is receding. Among them Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, where the cases went from 10,000 to less than 6,000 in a week.
The beach of Biarritz, in the south of France. Tourists, wearing chinstraps in the face of the advance of the coronavirus. Photo: AP
The fourth wave, less lethal
This is the fourth wave of Covid in France but less strong, with fewer hospitalizations and deaths but 21,000 daily cases.
The official senator of the Republic in March, Caroline Abadie, tried to justify the health passport, in the debate in the Senate, and the health restrictions with the following argument: “This Delta variant has a viral load 1260 times higher than the first one” .
The infectious diseases doctors consider it “a super polluter “: meets all the conditions of him.
The French authorities want to speed up vaccination and hope to reach 50 million vaccinated before September. They invite parents to vaccinate boys between the ages of 12 and 17 to guarantee access to education.
Nowadays one in two French people is vaccinated with the first dose. But there is a denialist movement, which opposes vaccination and the health passport.
The mandatory health passport was accepted by parliamentarians urgently at the weekend. But it has controversial aspects.
A sign next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris warns that a health passport is mandatory. Photo: EFE
It must be analyzed by the Constitutional Council, the highest court of the Republic, which can modify it. The problem of firing those not vaccinated after two months is in violation of the Constitution, according to specialists.
The health passport also affects show businessmen. People don’t want to go to the movies because they have to show it, to live shows and museums.
The new document disrupts cultural life in France. Those who are against denounce that the drop in the number of visitors is enormous: 50 percent and “because of the health passport.”
The shock is less in museums. They demand that it be annulled but the government rejects the proposal. We must wait for the constitutional judges on August 5.
Officially, the health passport will enter into force on August 9, as announced by government spokesman Gabriel Attal.
A bar in Deauville, France, also requires a health pass from its customers. Photo: AFP
The mandatory vaccine debate has already settled. In a newspaper poll Le Figaro published this wednesday, 62.1 percent support mandatory vaccination against 37.9 percent who oppose.
Along with the health passport, this issue divides the country after 18 months of epidemic, confinement and exceptionality. Whether or not individual freedoms can be violated in the name of the pandemic is a discussion in France and divides society.
Since the end of June, the fourth wave of Covid-19, driven by the Delta variant, has been expanding at a rapid pace. The question of the measures to be taken to limit the number of sick and dead and to prevent hospitals from being under pressure in a few weeks is at rest.
The rapid advance of the Delta variant
“We are in a race against the clock, and now is when it is played,” said Judge Farida Adlani, vice president of the regional council of Ile-de-France, in charge of health issues. She is a nurse in Aulnay-sous Bois, in a hospital in Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris where there are not too many vaccinated.
The increase in the incidence rate in Paris shows how quickly the epidemic is spreading.
An employee asks a visitor to a Safari de Peaugres national park in central France for a health pass this Wednesday. Photo: AFP
By the second half of June, the number of people diagnosed positive in the last seven days had fallen to less than 30 per 100,000 inhabitants. Since then, the incidence has skyrocketed.
So far about 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the “maximum alert” criteria, with pressure on the hospital’s critical care services.
In Paris, the rate is precisely 248 per 100,000, according to data published Tuesday by Public Health France. According to this criterion, Paris is the most affected department in Ile-de-France and one of the hardest hit in France.
Young people, main victims
While it is about all ages, the new wave mainly affects the young. The incidence has skyrocketed among people between 20 and 29 years old, who are less vaccinated than the rest of the population, despite leading an often very active social life.
In this section, the rate went from 45 to more than 615 new cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants in a month.
“Paris has many festive places frequented by young people,” analyzes Anne Souyris, health assistant to the mayor, Anne Hidalgo. “However, these places of coexistence are obviously places of contamination,” he warns.
Pressure in hospitals
So far, this booming fourth wave hasn’t put hospitals in trouble. As young people are less fragile, they must be hospitalized less frequently. But the balance of entries and exits was again positive in the establishments of the region.
“In Ile-de-France, 22% of intensive care beds are already occupied by Covid-19 patients,” warns Anne Souyris.
Aurélien Rousseau, director general of the regional health agency (ARS), has no illusions: “Hospitals will again be under great pressure,” he said July 25 in Le Journal du dimanche.
“The biggest risk would be an early arrival of the wave, in August, during a period of personnel shortages,” he said.
Infections increase on the Côte d’Azur and on the ocean coast, where the chinstrap has returned and the closure of restaurants at 11 pm on some beaches. The great fear is when the vacationers return home.