Saturday, May 21

Covid-19. Fifth wave: for Arnaud Fontanet, “the worst-case scenario is moving away, the decline has begun”

“Yes, the worst-case scenario is moving away, the decline has begun,” said Institut Pasteur epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet on Monday morning on France Inter. The expert bases himself on projections, created from scientific hypotheses which take into account the behavior of the French in the face of the epidemic. And according to the results of the calculations and the data observed, the specialist concludes that “the peak of infections has passed these days, last week in Île-de-France, perhaps a little later for the other regions. French. Hospital admissions are expected to peak in the coming week. »

Slow decline expected in February

On the other hand, according to Arnaud Fontanet, “patients will stay in hospital in February, we can expect hospitals to remain very busy all month. We should be at a much lower level of contamination by March.

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While the professor had predicted last week that by “reducing our contacts by 20%, we would halve the number of hospitalizations”, he welcomed the behavior of the French, because that is “probably what is ‘happened “. The predicted disaster therefore does not seem to have occurred. “We could have had a worse situation if there had not been a collective effort”.

New waves could occur, but less severe

The epidemiologist continued: “Herd immunity means the virus stops circulating. Vaccines and infections do not prevent reinfections. This virus will settle, will circulate, ”he predicts. “Each winter phase, there will be a Covid epidemic. But each time, we will have strengthened our immunity. We protect ourselves better and better against serious forms. Eventually we will have circulations of variants that give us colds and angina, but we hope, we will no longer see serious forms in such quantities that hospitals have to be protected, ”explained the member of the Scientific Council. and professor at the CNAM.

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Delta about to disappear?

According to the expert from the Institut Pasteur, certain elements suggest that “when you are infected with Omicron, you are partially protected against Delta”. Therefore, “there is reason to believe that Delta is not going to come back with the vigor it had during the fall.” The Delta variant, which causes more serious cases than Omicron, is still present in France, but to a lesser extent compared to the South African variant.

Finally, the “chance” of having a more severe variant increases the chances of saying goodbye to overloaded critical care services in the future, but nothing is guaranteed. “If we are lucky with Omicron to have a mild variant, we will have waves that will affect hospitalizations but not resuscitations. If unfortunately the next variant, which escapes a lot, which is very contagious and is more severe, it will be more difficult, ”he added.

Reference-www.leprogres.fr

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