France's top health advisor warns of COVID-19 resurgence in autumn

2021-06-08 13:35:59 GMT2021-06-08 21:35:59(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

PARIS, June 8 (Xinhua) -- France is likely to see a resurgence of coronavirus in the autumn mainly due to the potential spread of the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on COVID-19, said Tuesday.

"After a summer that should overall go well ... we should see a resurgence of the epidemic in September or October," Delfraissy told RTL radio.

The immunologist warned that the Delta virus strain, which drove a devastating epidemic wave in India, would be dominant at home by the autumn.

Meanwhile, vaccination would protect against the increasingly contagious variant and limit its impact on the domestic health system, he added.

"The fourth wave will be very different from the first waves because we will have the vaccination. The virus will find a population largely inoculated and protected against these new variants," he said.

As of Monday, more than 28 million people in France, or 53.8 percent of the adult population, have received at least one jab. Some 12.5 million people have completed their vaccination, representing 23.8 percent of the adult population, data from the Health Ministry showed.

The number of vaccinated people would rise to 38 million by the end of June thanks to "a vaccination pace that goes in the right direction," according to Delfraissy.

In a move to ramp up vaccine rollout, the government will allow French teenagers aged 12 to 18 to get the injection from June 15. The campaign has already been opened to all adults.

On Wednesday, France will enter a new stage in easing restrictions it has ordered early April to contain the third wave. Gyms will resume activities and foreign tourists will be allowed to enter under health protocol.

The start of the nighttime curfew will be pushed back by two hours to 11 p.m. All restrictive rules are set to be removed later this month.

Since the epidemic outbreak, France had counted over 5.7 million infection cases, with 1,164 new cases confirmed on Monday against an average of 40,000 two months ago. A total of 14,323 patients were hospitalized, of whom 2,472 required life support, down by 202 and 55 respectively from a day earlier, health authorities' figures showed. Enditem