PARIS, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The current COVID-19 wave engulfing France could reach its peak in around 10 days time, said Professor Alain Fischer, an official responsible for France’s COVID vaccine strategy.
“I think we are coming to the peak of this new wave,” Fischer told LCI TV, adding that this peak could come “primarily towards the beginning of the second fortnight of January, so if we work it out this would be in around 10 days time.”
France reported 261,481 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, less than the record of more than 332,000 set on Wednesday, but the seven-day moving average of new cases rose above 200,000 for the first time since the start of the health crisis.
The French health ministry also reported 204 new deaths, taking the total COVID-19 death tally to over 125,000.
French President Emmanuel Macron is banking that enough people will take up COVID vaccine booster shots to mitigate the effects of the virus, and thereby allow Macron to avoid enforcing major new restrictions to tackle the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Macron said he stood by his earlier comments saying he wanted to “piss off” the five million French people who are still not vaccinated against COVID-19, adding it was his responsibility to sound the alarm given the Omicron threat.
“I stand by my earlier comments,” said Macron, as he hosted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her trip to Paris.
He added it was the authorities’ obligation to place restrictions against those who are not vaccinated, to protect the more than 90% of French citizens who are vaccinated.
France is reporting more than 200,000 daily new COVID-19 cases on average, an all-time record, due to the high contagiousness of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
Photo – A woman is carried on a stretcher to the Covid-19 vaccination center at the South Ile-de-France Hospital Group (Groupe Hospitalier Sud Ile-de-France), in Melun, on the outskirts of Paris, France. EPA-EFE/THOMAS SAMSON / POOL MAXPPP OUT