WHO Secretary General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday, Wednesday 14 September 2022, “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic”. However, on the French side, the indicators of the Covid-19 epidemic appear to have been on the rise for several days. Can we already talk about the eighth wave?
Indicators “very clearly on the rise”
“The virus is circulating, that’s for sureanalyzes epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva. The data of the last few days: number of cases, rate of positivity, are clearly growing. “
On average over the past seven days, France has 22,128 new cases every day, data released on Wednesday 14 September. This average is up 35% over the previous week.
Here’s another view, of the number of cases from the same day last week:
Antoine Flahault takes over “an increase in reported cases and in any case in all regions of metropolitan France, perhaps with the exception of Corsica”.
The incidence rate is increasing in most departments, according to the latest data from Public Health France (11 September 2022) shown on the map below:
The next few days will confirm the trend or not
“We see the beginning of a new wave”acknowledges the epidemiologist, who still wants to remain cautious. “Between December 2020 and March-April 2021 we had a fairly high plateau of contamination, without it being characterized by a wave”, He explains. Especially since “Health monitoring is much less reliable today than it was a few months ago”due to the decrease in the number of tests carried out.
According to Antoine Flahault, a wave is defined as a “Increase in the number of cases and also increase in hospitalizations and deaths”a situation in which we are not yet.
In the hospital, the decrease in hospitalizations for Covid continues. On average over seven days, French hospitals received 350 new patients with Covid-19 infection every day (as of September 14), a 7% decline in one week. However, the speed of this decline has slowed over the past few days.
Same on the side of deaths, which continue to decrease. With 34 hospital deaths per day on 14 September, the indicator is at its lowest level since the fall of 2021. The figure is slightly down from the 40 deaths on average on 7 September. Yet this level is higher than in the lulls in early July 2021 and the summer of 2020, when fewer than 20 deaths were recorded each day.
“We have to wait a week or two to be sure, to see if hospitalizations and deaths follow the increase in cases. And at that point, we can really talk about the eighth wave.sums up Antoine Flahault.
“We are not immune to the new waves”
Globally, the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 is at its lowest since the start of the pandemic. “Last week, the number of weekly deaths from Covid-19 dropped to a minimum since March 2020. We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic”said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a press conference on Wednesday.
Specifically, every day, on average, 1,760 people are victims of the epidemic, as of 12 September, according to data from Our World in Data, the platform specializing in the census of international data.
Antoine Flahault highlights the important vaccination campaign in the world. But he specifies it “The virus continues to circulate, which can continue to change and that we are not immune to new waves, as we could see at this time in Europe too”.