Weekly Covid cases have increased in France for the first time since mid-August, new figures show.
The seven-day average of daily cases increased 11% between October 8 and 14 from the previous week, to an average of 4,600 cases per day, according to CovidTracker figures released on the evening of the 17th. October.
If the number of daily positive cases is still relatively low, it is twice the rate of June 2021 at the end of the last confinement in France, and this is the first increase in weekly cases since mid-August.
The average number of positive cases increased by 11% over one week pic.twitter.com/P6nn7Rz7Z5
– GRZ (@GuillaumeRozier) October 17, 2021
The latest daily figures show that as of October 17, 3,778 cases have been recorded in the previous 24 hours. The numbers are often slightly lower on Monday due to less testing over the weekend.
However, the CovidTracker website reported that the overall number of tests carried out in France has remained stable, which means that the increase in Covid cases is not due to an increase in tests.
As access to free “comfort” tests performed for non-medical reasons was discontinued on October 15, it is possible that the test rate will actually drop this week.
Read more: Who should pay for Covid tests in France from today and how much?
Rising cases concentrated in certain departments
So far, the highest numbers of cases are concentrated in certain departments, with the highest incidence rate (number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days) reported in the Bouches-du-Rhône, at 105 , 7 between October 7 and October 13.
The French government has said it “expects” an increase in cases in the winter, and so far the increase in the number of cases is not reflected in the increase in hospital admissions.
SPF figures from October 17 show 1,289 people have been hospitalized with Covid in the past week and five Covid patients have died in the past 24 hours.
However, if cases continue to rise, it is unclear whether France will follow the UK’s lead in “living with the virus” this winter.
The UK is currently reporting more than 40,000 Covid cases per day and 100 to 150 deaths, with 700 Covid patients hospitalized each day, but has not published new rules to reduce the spread of the virus.
Use of the health pass could be reduced in departments with fewer cases of Covid
This comes as a new law could mean that use of the health pass will be reduced in departments with low levels of Covid.
The law currently being adopted by parliament provides for extend the possible use of the health pass until July 31, 2022, but a modification suggested by LREM deputy Pacôme Rupin would mean that the pass can only be used in departments where the incidence rate is greater than 50.
This is currently the case in 20 departments in France.
Mr Rupin said, “We cannot give the government a full license to use the health pass with minimal rules. I think we must have criteria [for use] either like that or something more stringent.
His proposal will be discussed during a review of the potential law in the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 19.
Covid France: Increase in cases in Lozère in the south, the law on the health pass discussed