Covid-19: the epidemic continues to decline

DECRYPTION – The number of cases and hospitalizations are down, but the threat of variants remains real.

For two months, the health situation has been constantly improving on the territory. All indicators are green. There are fewer than 7,000 positive cases per day, up from nearly 18,000 a month ago (calculated on an average of seven rolling days). The symbolic threshold of 5,000 cases per day should even be reached quickly. On the hospital level, the situation is also improving. There are fewer than 2,500 patients in intensive care, with a number of daily admissions of less than 100.

On the eve of the opening of indoor bars and restaurants and the shift of the curfew to 11 p.m., the reopening of the terraces did not have any detrimental consequences on the epidemic trajectory. The R, in other words, the rate of transmission of the virus, has stabilized around 0.8. This is excellent news, since on May 21, the Institut Pasteur published projections, promising us a relatively serene summer on condition of maintaining the decline until June 9. It is now done. What’s more, the vaccination is not showing signs of slowing down. More than 28 million French people have already received a dose, and nearly 14 million have finished their “Vaccination scheduleIn other words received two doses or needed only one injection after being positive for Covid-19. The analysis of different indicators corresponds to the end of the epidemic, Judge Jean-Stéphane Dhersin, Deputy Scientific Director of the National Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Unfortunately, we cannot be completely sure. France is very late in its system for monitoring variants. It is possible that a variant progresses despite this decline, and that we do not see it at all. “

Collective immunity

The United Kingdom has been experiencing a new rise in contamination for several days. While at the beginning of May there were only 1900 cases per day, they are now just over 5000. This increase mainly concerns young people and is linked to the Delta variant (Indian variant) which is now the majority in the country. “The situation is fragile in the United Kingdom and it is true that in some regions we are seeing worrying increases in the presence of the Delta variant., analysis Mylène Ogliastro, virologist and research director at INRAE ​​in Montpellier. Remember that the United Kingdom has certainly vaccinated 50% of its adult population and that if the data are reassuring on the effectiveness of vaccines against variants, it is the second dose that seems to increase the effectiveness. The 50% unvaccinated therefore remain vulnerable. ”

There is every reason to fear that it will be necessary to vaccinate much more to achieve collective immunity

Mylène Ogliastro, virologist and research director

This variant has been spotted in France, especially in the Landes department with around forty cases, without a direct link to England or India being able to be made. French health authorities promise that the situation is under control, but the Delta variant is in fact not systematically looked for in positive PCR tests. No one can therefore know what is its real circulation in our country.

In Europe, fragile people have been prioritized in the vaccination campaign. This protects them from serious forms and prevents the health care system from being overwhelmed. But that does not resolve the issue of group immunization with a virus that could continue to evolve while circulating. To permanently guard against a risk of rebound, scientists from the Institut Pasteur calculated that 90% of the adult population had to be vaccinated, or 46 million French people. “The notion of group immunity remains very debated, explains Mylène Ogliastro. The evolution of the virus is really a big uncertainty. We see that the variants that “succeed” today are more transmissible variants. And there is every reason to fear that it will be necessary to vaccinate much more to achieve collective immunity, and this at the global level. “ If the summer were to pass without too much hassle, it is still a little early to judge the situation at the start of the school year.

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