It would seem that the peak of the seventh wave of pollution to Covid-19 has been reached in France. For three days, the incidence rate has been falling, after having experienced a level of 130,680 new cases per day on average. It will take a few more days to make sure it’s not a plateau or a break in the flood, but epidemiologists seem optimistic. Jean-François Delfraissy, the president of the Covid-19 scientific council, which is due to cease its activities on July 31, had first anticipated this peak for “end of June, beginning of July”then for “Late July”. Reality finally meets halfway.
“We have seen a gradual slowdown in the number of new cases for several days.comments Pascal Crépey, professor-researcher in epidemiology and biostatistics at the Rennes School of Advanced Studies in Public Health. This slowdown also occurs with a lag of one week with respect to the start of the school holidays; however, we know that vacations have a slowing effect on the dynamics of the epidemic. » The flip side of this benefit conferred by vacations is that they tend to alter indicators and people adopt other behaviors. More trips, less use of tests and, therefore, a slightly biased view of the epidemic, which should encourage caution.
The case of Ile-de-France, however, confirms the trend. In this region, where the wave of contamination began earlier and with more force than in the rest of the country, the decline came a few days earlier. Despite a higher peak, its incidence rate has already fallen below the national level, for the first time since late May.
1,500 entries per day
“However, we must be aware that the peak is the moment when the virus circulates the most during the wave. Contamination is still very high”, with still more than 123,300 cases per day, warns Pascal Crépey. And although it seems that the peak of contamination has been reached, it is still far from being the case of hospitalizations, which reflect the effects of the decrease in general with a lag of ten to fifteen days. “This peak in hospitalizations will be a true confirmation of the ebb of the wave, since it is an indicator that is not disturbed by the screening problem”adds the epidemiologist.
Hospital admissions still continue to rise at a rapid rate, nearly 1,500 per day, an increase of 27% from the previous week. Same trend for intensive care admissions (132 per day, +32% in one week). The profile of people in intensive care does not vary: those aged 80-89 are the most affected. The same ones that happen to be the most vulnerable to the very strong heat waves that are likely to accompany the summer.
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