Covid: lifting of restrictions, BA.2, immunity… these reasons the epidemic is on the rise again

Next Tuesday, March 15, the Scientific Council will sound the alarm and warn that with the BA.2 variant and an easing of vigilance in the light of the pandemic, which has fallen into the background, the number of cases would increase again. and hospital admissions.

The Scientific Council warns: “The epidemic is not over yet.” In a warning note published on Tuesday, March 15, the body chaired by Jean-François Delfraissy explains the epidemiological resurgence currently affecting France.

According to her, France has an average of nearly 66,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day : a 20% increase in just one week. Tuesday, 116,618 new infections were announced in the country, which had also hospitalized 20,918 patients related to Covid-19 (up from 20,925 on Monday), of whom 1,783 were in intensive care. And in 24 hours, 146 deaths were recorded.

in Occitania, On Tuesday, 1,882 hospital admissions were ongoing (-64 since Friday), including 166 in intensive care and intensive care (-9) and 43 deaths were recorded in 24 hours.

Also read:
Covid report for Tuesday, March 15: 116,618 new cases in France, the epidemic “still very active in Occitania”

“Even if the situation gradually improves, the epidemic is still very active in Occitania, notes the ARS. After a steady decline, epidemiological indicators are rising again with a slight increase in the positivity rate and an average of more than 5,000 new positive cases per day.

‘Hospitalizations will increase’

In its opinion, the Scientific Council warns that:the number of hospital admissions will temporarily increase in the coming weeks” The main culprit?

The sub-variant Omicron BA.2 which has become the majority in France and gradually takes over its little brother BA.1. This represents more than 52% of the contamination in the country.

Several factors explain this recovery

The still cool temperatures, the return of students to classes, the gradual decline of immunity due to vaccination and a gradual easing of protective measures would also have contributed to a resumption of viral circulation in the country, according to the Scientific Council.

According to him, this relaxation is partly due to the war in Ukraine. “Covid-19 has taken a back seat” he underlines and we witness a real “Trivialization of the Epidemic in Society”† Since December last year, however, more than 18,000 people have died from Covid-19.

Relaxation measures

“The easing of control measures on March 14 is expected to further boost transmission speeds. We are therefore investigating scenarios in which transmission speeds are 50%, 70%, 100% or 130% above the January-February level from March 14 onwards.” the scientific council in its note.

The latter relies in particular on other European countries where the easing of restrictions against Covid has been accompanied by a gradual recovery from the epidemic.

Vaccination and treatments

While the Scientific Council recommends maintaining a high level of prevention, both in terms of using barrier gestures and information about the potential danger of the BA.2 variant in the most vulnerable people, it also provides treatment recommendations.

“Ease for infected patients at risk of developing a severe form early access to oral treatment with Paxlovid, even if they have been vaccinated,” suggests the note, indicating that prescribing this drug should be strengthened.

As for vaccination, the Scientific Council confirms the importance of a 4th dose for “EHPAD residents and patients over 80 (see COSV advice), or even extend to people aged 65 to 79, especially those with risk factors.”