France is facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, putting a strain on its healthcare system. According to official health service figures, the number of cases diagnosed by general practitioners (GPs) has been steadily increasing since July 2023. In the week of September 4-10, France reported 54,699 new cases, a significant jump from the previous week. The rise in cases can be attributed to the emergence of new variants, including EG.5.1 and its spawns, which have spread beyond France’s borders. Another variant, BA.2.86, has also been discovered in France and may be spreading silently while causing disease severity.
Healthcare authorities in France are closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to launch vaccination campaigns if cases surge. Dr. Brigitte Autran, the president of the Covars, emphasizes the importance of self-isolation in case of infection and the need to understand and prepare for vaccination against the new variants.
The surge in cases has put immense pressure on France’s healthcare system, leading to bed closures and adjustments in hospital services. The Grand Est Regional Health Agency has activated the “territorial white plan” to mobilize all available resources and ensure necessary care continues to be provided.
In response to the rise in new variants and infections, the French government has advanced the launch date of the vaccination campaign to October 2, 2023. The campaign aims to boost protection for vulnerable populations, including the elderly, individuals with comorbidities, and pregnant women.
As France navigates this critical juncture, the world watches, hoping for successful containment of the virus and a return to normalcy.