71,342 deaths. This is the toll of covid victims in France until January 19, 2021. And, since the start of the epidemic, the figures for the number of deaths per week have been particularly high during two periods: the first wave, in April-May, and the second, which has lasted since October.

A second wave that lingers

But these two waves are very different: the first, more concentrated, caused nearly 30,000 deaths (28,802 deaths recorded as of May 31, 2020). Since October, the number of weekly deaths has not reached the records of April. But the fact that this second wave lasts over time and that the indicators have remained at high levels since December makes it more deadly.

So, on October 13, Public health France had 32,933 covid-related deaths in France. This means that since that date and until today, 38,409 additional deaths have been recorded, which is 10,000 more than during the period of the first wave.


Weekly number of deaths of covid patients from March 2 to January 12, 2021. Source: Public health France, Weekly epidemiological point of January 14, 2021.

The toll continues to grow

And the second wave is not over. “The health situation is not under control and the dynamics of the epidemic remain positive“worried on January 19 the Professor Djillali Annane, head of the intensive care unit at the Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, guest of the Health Magazine.
Many speak of a plateau but we are actually dealing with a false plateau ” he specified, since the indicators do not stagnate but tend to increase.

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Another element that raises fears of a heavier toll of the second wave: the progression of the British variant of the coronavirus, 50 to 70% more transmissible than the old variant of the coronavirus, which could therefore infect more people and therefore cause more deaths.