PARIS, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The French government’s top scientific adviser Jean-Francois Delfraissy said on Wednesday he could not rule out authorities asking companies once again to make a greater use of home-working, amid a surge in COVID-19 infections in France.
Asked if the French government could again recommend employers to ask their staff to work more from home, Delfraissy told France Inter radio: “Probably yes…home-working is one element of our toolbox.”
Governments around the world have used home-working as a way to limit the circulation of the COVID virus, although work-from-home has also impacted economic activity due to fewer people being present in shops and businesses in commercial districts.
France could “probably” cope with the fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, notably if people followed anti-COVID restriction measures such wearing face masks and social distancing, and if those who are not yet vaccinated got a shot or if a third booster dose was rolled out for those who require it, he added.
“I remain cautiously optimistic…We have the tools to limit the impact of this fifth wave but it is going to be difficult with a hospital system which is tired,” Delfraissy said, predicting that daily hospitalisations for COVID-19 could jump to 1,000-1,200 a day by early December.
France’s health ministry registered 19,778 new cases on Tuesday, the highest 24-hour increase since August 25, bringing France’s total during the pandemic to 7.31 million.
The French COVID-19 death toll currently stands at 91,345.
Photo – The golden statues of the Trocadero esplanade, in front of the Eiffel Tower, are covered with protective face masks in Paris, France. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON