US News Covid-19: variants still cause more concern in France

18:10  09 february  2021
18:10  09 february  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

Four cases of Brazilian variant were detected in France

 Four cases of Brazilian variant were detected in France © Copyright 2021, L'Obs Four first cases of infection with the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus were detected in France, in addition to of the English variants and south -African , the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, said on Thursday, February 4. We have known "since yesterday" that there are "four cases of variant of Brazilian origin, in particular in the Var, in the Aura region (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) as well as in Réunion", declared Olivier Véran.

Le ministre français de la Santé, Olivier Véran, le 8 février 2021 à Melun. © AP - Thomas Samson The French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, February 8, 2021 in Melun.

As France prepares to pass the 80,000 death mark from Covid-19, the spread of the British and South African variants of the virus is raising a climate of fear for the coming weeks. But Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, still excludes a re-containment for the moment, while maintaining a "very important state of vigilance".

After the United States (more than 465,000 deaths), Brazil (more than 231,500 deaths), Mexico (more than 166,700 deaths), India (more than 155,000 deaths), the United Kingdom ( more than 113,000 dead) and Italy (more than 91,500 dead), France will, in turn, exceed the threshold of 80,000 victims of Covid-19. Yesterday, Monday February 8, the toll stood at more than 79,400 deaths in hospitals and nursing homes. On the same day, Public Health France counted 460 deaths in hospitals, the highest daily figure in 2021.

Germany tries to keep variants outside its borders

 Germany tries to keep variants outside its borders © EPA Angela Merkel and German authorities try to protect the country from variants of the virus. Germany partially closes its borders with the Czech Republic and Austrian Tyrol on Sunday in an attempt to contain the spread of the highly contagious variants of the coronavirus. "Fixed checkpoints" at the borders concerned are thus set up, like the one installed at Kiefersfelden (Bavaria), on the border with Austria.

The vaccination campaign continues, with some additional doubts: although approved within the European Union, AstraZeneca vaccine questions, after a study questioning its effectiveness against the South African variant of Covid-19. South Africa, precisely, has suspended its vaccination campaign for this reason.

Calls to close schools

Variants of the coronavirus are the source of concern in France. They are more contagious and threaten to worsen the epidemic. The one called the South African is still not very common in the country. "Today, 99% of the viral strains circulating in metropolitan France do not correspond to the South African variant", reminds France Info on Tuesday the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, who is however vigilant on what is happening "in overseas, where we can find more South African variants ”. “It may eventually lead us to change the strategy,” he added.

Coronavirus: The British variant has developed a mutation that worries scientists

 Coronavirus: The British variant has developed a mutation that worries scientists HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-GB-MUTATION: Coronavirus: The British variant has developed a mutation that worries scientists © Reuters / HENRY NICHOLLS CORONAVIRUS: THE BRITISH VARIANT A DEVELOPED A MUTATION THAT CONCERNS SCIENTISTS by Estelle Shirbon and Alistair Smout LONDON (Reuters) - The coronavirus variant detected in England has developed a new mutation which scientists say makes it similar to the so-called South African and Brazilian variants and could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.

The British variant, on the other hand, is more and more present in metropolitan France. And this mutation increases fears. Thus, the SNMSU (Majority Union of School and University Doctors) took a position on Monday: noting "an increasingly active circulation of Covid in schools (...) with an increasing number of variants", it now calls for the closure of schools . The SNMSU was nevertheless in favor of keeping establishments open, but the evolution of the health situation is pushing it to review its copy.

“We cannot help but sound the alarm bells. This seems to us to be a situation which is becoming extremely worrying. It is absolutely necessary to succeed in breaking the chains of transmission in an efficient manner ”, explains Doctor Marianne Barré, Secretary General of the SNMSU.

"Possibly that we will never be reconfigured"

This Tuesday, Olivier Véran confirms that the variants "increase by around 50% per week", ie a slower rate "than the countries which were not under curfew ". The Minister sees in it "an effectiveness of the measures decided which make it possible to stabilize the health situation". Refinement, desired and requested by many, is therefore still not on the agenda. “It is possible and wishes that we will never be re-defined,” said Olivier Véran.

However, the government remains "in a very important state of vigilance" and analyzes the situation "on a daily basis". It is banking on the winter school holidays, which began on February 6 (zone A) and will extend until March 8 (zone B), to slow down the circulation of Covid-19. And the Minister of Health ensures that if the epidemic were to flare up, as some fear, the health authorities would not be taken aback.

(With AFP)

Covid-19. Worrisome new variant discovered in UK and detected in 13 countries .
© REUTERS Worried new British variant (photo illustration). Scottish specialists have detected a new variant of the coronavirus called B.1.525 in 135 patients in 13 different countries. The latter presents the E484K mutation, already observed on previous variants, which worries the researchers. It would in fact reduce the effects of the antibodies and limit the immunity conferred by vaccines or a previous infection.

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