A “exponential growth“. This is what Professor Rémi Salomon, president of the medical commission of the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP), notes about the new variants of the coronavirus. As he explains on France Info on February 2, in the Paris region, “we were rather around 6% on January 7 and we climbed to 15 or 20% last week“, according to the results of a first survey.

“An acceleration of the epidemic”

And the British variant “will become dominant, we know, in the next 15 days, the next four weeks“, explains Rémi Salomon. A forecast in agreement with the Inserm study published on January 16 on the progression of the British variant: it indeed predicted that this variant would take the advantage over the older variants between mid-February and mid-March in France.

And since it is 40 to 70% more contagious, there will be an acceleration of the epidemic if we do not significantly do anything more. This is what scares us“, recognizes Rémi Salomon.

“Brake hard”

Considering what is happening in hospitals now, I think it would be reasonable to brake hard“he warns again. It should therefore according to him”close schools for maybe three weeks, a month and then reopen them“, although he recognizes that the closure of schools has”serious consequences for children’s education“and for their psychological health.

He also encourages not to do “only teleworking“to limit the circulation of the virus as much as possible.

50% more traffic each week

The results of a second survey intended to assess the presence of more contagious variants of the coronavirus in France are awaited. This “flash survey” consists in analyzing a large sample of the positive PCR tests carried out on January 27 to determine the proportions of each variant.

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The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran revealed on January 31 in the JDD that according to preliminary results of this “flash” survey, the circulation of the English variant was intensifying “by 50% every week but less intensively than abroad where increases of 70 to 100% have been noted“.

Professor Bruno Lina, in charge of this mapping, had mentioned the same day on LCI a progression “not as important as what has been observed in other European countriesHe called however to remain cautious before more precise figures are available.