Already 20% of covid cases. The Delta variant continues to spread in France and already represents one in five cases of covid, alerted the Minister of Health Olivier Véran on June 29 at the microphone of France Info.

It gradually becomes dominant“he continued, before warning:”it is progressing compared to other viruses, we must remain very vigilant“.
Last week, the government estimated that this variant accounted for 9 to 10% of new cases of covid, half as much as today.

Continue vaccination

We can escape it“however assured Olivier Véran, in particular thanks to the vaccination and to a close tracing of this variant. First problem: the number of first injections of anti-covid vaccine stagnates, and less than 32% of the French population received the two protective doses .

Read also: Covid: what do we know about the new “Delta plus” variant?

Improve variant tracing

Second problem: the efficiency of the delta variant tracing. Since mid-June, a new screening method has been used to identify the variant in positive PCR tests. And the instruction of the health authorities is that all the tests benefit from it.

But still today, less than half of positive tests are screened. A proportion “insufficient“to assess the progression of disturbing mutations in France, deplored on June 25 Bruno Coignard, director of infectious diseases at Public Health France.

An underestimated proportion?

The stake is that all the analysis laboratories mobilize to carry out these screening tests and this, on the whole of the territory. Otherwise the proportion of Delta variant could be underestimated.

Engineer Guillaume Rozier, creator of the site CovidTracker and the tool Quick My Dose, wondered this morning on Twitter : “Why we do not have data in OpenData to follow precisely“the proportion of Delta variant?

Today it is not possible to follow its progress, at national or local level“, he still lamented.

A risk of an epidemic outbreak

Improving this surveillance would make it possible to better anticipate possible upsurges. Because this variant, more contagious than other strains of the coronavirus, is already at the origin of epidemic outbreaks in several countries.

And because of its progress, the United Kingdom has postponed the last stages of its deconfinement and Lisbon, Sydney and Bangkok have reinstated measures of travel restrictions or even re-containment.