July 27, 2021

Coronavirus, what you need to know this week: vaccination challenged by the Delta variant

Despite the progress of vaccination, the variant that appeared in India is spreading around the world. In France, it is considered worrying.


While the French, barely deconfined, take advantage of the terraces, without masks, until late hours, the Delta variant extends its shadow. A threat taken seriously by the government, which however does not change the deconfinement schedule and announces the reopening of discos July 9. Everything now rests on the vaccination, which must affect everyone, especially the most vulnerable. If, for the moment, the vaccine does not completely protect against contamination, it greatly limits severe cases of the disease as can be seen in Israel or UK.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro

1. The threat of the Delta variant

A mutation of the Delta variant, called Delta Plus, has been identified in three states in India. ADNAN ABIDI / REUTERS

The cousin’s cousin. The Indian Ministry of Health’s statement released on Tuesday sounds like a call to order. A mutation of the Delta variant, which is considered worrying, has appeared in three states of the South Asian giant. This new variant of the virus, “Delta Plus”, is said to be more contagious and even more resistant than its cousin. The latter is however already “a threatIn France, according to the government spokesperson. The Delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the English Alpha variant. “There is absolute vigilance around this variant which we now know is more contagious than the English variant.“, Said Gabriel Attal Wednesday. In France, it represents “between 9% and 10% of contaminations”, A figure comparable to that of the United States or Germany. It should represent 90% of new cases of Covid-19 in the European Union by the end of August, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimated yesterday.

The epidemic situation in France. For the moment in France, the figures are green but we must remain cautious despite the loosening of health rules. Fewer than 10,000 patients with Covid-19 are hospitalized today, unheard of since October 2020. The Minister of Health outlined in the JDD the government strategy to fight against the coronavirus during the holidays: self-tests on the beaches, dogs sniffers, “Covid referents»On vacation spots, reinforcement of tracing and better control of isolation. But after a year of Covid, barrier gestures seem to be firmly anchored in the population. “The fear of the other, the fear of the virus only accelerated a process that was already underway. Carefree social relationships are increasingly giving way to prudent, chosen relationships ”, even suggests the sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann.

The numbers to remember

  • 1509 patients in critical care (-51 since the day before)
  • 9771 hospitalized patients (-275 since the day before)
  • 2320 new cases detected within 24 hours
  • 33 deaths in 24 hours (110,891 deaths since the start of the epidemic)

Source: Public Health France as of June 23

SEE AS ​​WELL – Gabriel Attal: “The Delta variant represents between 9 and 10% of contaminations in France”

2. The race of the variant vaccine

Israel is speeding up vaccination of adolescents as a new wave of Delta variant contaminations is identified. JACK GUEZ / AFP

Vaccinated but contaminated. Israel, where 60% of the population is vaccinated, is facing a new wave of coronavirus contaminations. “40% of new cases are people vaccinated“, Admitted Professor Gabi Barbash, former director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health. Information taken up by personalities finding in it a new reason to display their skepticism about the vaccine. If the figure is correct, is it worrying, asked Alexis Feertchak, head of “fact checking” at Figaro. One reassurance: in Israel as in the United Kingdom, where contamination is also on the rise, vaccination protects many serious forms of the disease. It now remains to ensure collective immunity. It would require reaching the very high rate of 90% vaccinated. A challenge when the immunization curves start to decline in the countries most advanced in immunization.

Update on vaccination. Vaccination in France has started a race against time against the Delta variant. “Everything is played now“, Recognizes the Ministry of Health while the symbolic bar of 60% of vaccinated is finally crossed for the whole of the adult population. But the youngest are not left out: on the evening of June 21, 365,000 teenagers aged 12-17 had received an injection, or 7% of this age group. This summer, despite everything, a quarter of the vaccination centers in Île-de-France will close their doors. However, special operations will be carried out on particular audiences and in particular the most vulnerable, as our journalist Keren Lentschner relates in a report in an emergency accommodation center. “The very marginalized do not feel concerned by vaccination, explains a nurse. Managing to grab their attention when they are in a situation of great precariousness or survival is sometimes very difficult. ”

The numbers to remember

  • 32.7 million people (48.8% of the population and 62.2% of the adult population) received a first dose.
  • 19.7 million people have a complete vaccination schedule

Source: Public Health France as of June 23

3. The quote

That the President of the Republic has taken up the matter is very good news. The nightclubs are the only establishments to have closed for almost 16 months, without any prospect or any possible revenue.

Christian Jouny, general delegate of SNDLL

Finally, a date! At the end of a meeting on Monday at the Elysee Palace, the government announced that nightclubs will be able to reopen on July 9, with a gauge set at 100% outdoors, and 75% indoors and the obligation to present a health pass. While some, like Jean-Roch Pedri in Saint-Tropez, welcome this “excellent news», Others remain cautious. The health pass in particular goes badly. “Very few of them [les jeunes] will agree to have regular tests to go out this summer, says Christian Jouny at Figaro. Some have just turned 18 and have never been to a club. ”

4. The effect of the virus on the lungs

A study on the pulmonary symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 is published in the journal Nature Communications. 333039083 / Production Perig – stock.adobe.com

The structure of the respiratory epithelium weakened. The work of American researchers, published in the journal Nature Communications, allow us to understand how Sars-CoV-2 disrupts the functioning of the lungs. “They focused their research on the cells of the respiratory epithelium, which line the alveoli and ensure exchanges between the blood vessels and the air contained in the lungs.s ”, explains the Science Department. Figaro. “GThanks to a very fine electron microscopy technique, this work has succeeded in confirming that the virus acts on one of the proteins which ensure cohesion between cells ”, details a researcher. A big step towards understanding the harmfulness of the virus according to the experts who reread the study, a possible therapeutic target for the authors of the publication.

5. The deconfinement schedule

The deconfinement process is coming to an end. The May 3, the restriction on movement beyond 10 km had been lifted while middle and high school students returned to their establishments. The May 19, the terraces of bars and restaurants have reopened, as have non-essential shops and cultural places. A new step has been taken June 9 with the end of the curfew to 11 p.m., the reopening of indoor rooms in restaurants and cafes as well as sports halls and indoor swimming pools. The total lifting of the curfew has been brought forward 10 days to Sunday June 20.

The June 30th finally, the gauges will be lifted in restaurants and shops, standing concerts will be able to resume with a limit of 75% of spectators in indoor establishments, and 100% outdoors. On the other hand, events bringing together more than 1,000 people will be subject to the health pass, as will the discotheques which will open their doors on July 9th.

6. Reflexes to keep

The virus is transmitted by droplets and aerosols. The barrier gestures detailed by the Ministry of Health must be observed to protect themselves and others:

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Wear a mask in public areas when the distance of two meters cannot be respected
  • Maintain a distance of at least two meters from others
  • Limit social contacts as much as possible (6 maximum)
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Air the rooms as often as possible, at least a few minutes every hour
  • Greet without shaking hands and stop hugging

7. What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease manifests itself with several symptoms, most often cough and fever.

The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will prescribe a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected.

See you next week.


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