The notorious Delta variant has not left France unscathed as the strain’s presence has increased since last week and now accounts for up to one in five Covid-19 cases in the country.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran expressed grave concern about how rapidly Delta is spreading throughout the country on Tuesday, after cases involving the variant doubled since last week. In an interview with FranceInfo Radio, Veran warned that the highly contagious strain “is progressing compared to other viruses, we must remain very vigilant.”
However, Veran shared some positive news, noting that coronavirus cases in France are decreasing overall. On average, it is reporting 1,815 new infections a day. Due to the recent fall in cases, France eased some coronavirus-prevention measures and dropped mandatory masks outdoors on June 17, as well as its 11pm-6am curfew a few days later on June 20.
A statement published on June 23 by the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Dr. Andrea Ammon, illustrated just how grave the spread of the Delta variant is across Europe. She relayed concerns presented in scientific evidence that by the end of August the Delta variant will account for 90% of all cases in Europe.
Just across the channel in the UK, almost all coronavirus cases relate to the Delta variant, according to the British Medical Journal. In neighboring Germany, the variant supposedly accounts for 50% of all cases. Overall, France has reported over 5.77 million cases and 111,012 deaths since the start of the pandemic.