How fast are the variants of the coronavirus spread in France? While the British variant was measured at 3.3% among all positive cases on January 7 and 8, it was nearly 14% in France on January 27, told AFP virologist Bruno Lina, responsible of the ongoing variant investigation.

Up to 20% locally

Professor Lina also underlines regional disparities in an interview with lyoncapitale.fr. Thus, some regions such as Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes have fewer cases of the variant than the national average, with around 10% of positive cases concerned.

On the other hand, the presence of the variant is more marked in Île-de-France, Brittany and the Grand-Est, where the rate is around 20%.

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A linear and continuous increase

It is “an increase which is not explosive as we have seen in Ireland or Portugal but which is linear and continuous“, developed the expert, member of the scientific council which guides the choices of the government, to lyoncapitale.fr.

Clearly, today, the data we have tell us that we are on a sort of ridge line. A very difficult line to analyze to be sure to say “next week, we are sure that things will go wrong” or conversely “we are sure that nothing will happen”“, added Bruno Lina.

Hope for a “holiday effect”?

To slow the spread of the British variant, the government is counting on school holidays, which start at the end of the week for a third of the country. Because the holidays are synonymous with a decrease in mixing in schools and companies.

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A “holiday effect“for which Mircea Sofonea, lecturer in epidemiology and evolution of infectious diseases at the University of Montpellier, says”Reserve“.”On the one hand, these are not simultaneous vacations, so we will have an effect that will be smoothed out over the three weeks. On the other hand, if the October holidays resulted in a decrease, those of Christmas it was rather in the other direction.“, he warns.

And for this epidemiologist, “the British variant does not yet contribute greatly to the circulation of the virus“, but when it does,”it is not the marginal measures that we are currently taking that will be able to protect us“he finally confides to AFP.