In Paris, the sanitary lights are turning red. Since the end of June, the fourth wave of Covid-19, fueled by the Delta variant, has been swelling at a rapid pace; the question of the measures to be taken to limit the number of sick and dead, and prevent hospitals from finding themselves under pressure within a few weeks is therefore resting. “We are in a race against time, and it is now that it is played”, Judge Farida Adlani, the vice-president of the Ile-de-France regional council in charge of health issues, herself a nurse at the Aulnay-sous-Bois hospital (Seine-Saint-Denis).
The surge in the incidence rate in Paris shows the speed of the epidemic’s spread. By the second half of June, the number of people diagnosed positive in the past seven days had fallen to less than 30 per 100,000 population. Since then, the incidence has skyrocketed. Until now close to 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the criteria of“Maximum alert”, with the pressure on critical care services in the hospital. In Paris, the rate is precisely 248 per 100,000, according to data released Tuesday July 27 by Public Health France. By this yardstick, Paris is the most affected department in Ile-de-France, and one of the most affected in France.
Explosion among 20-29 year olds, less vaccinated
If all ages are concerned, the new wave primarily affects young people. The incidence has exploded among people between 20 and 29 years old, who are less vaccinated than the rest of the population while they lead an often very active social life. In this bracket, the rate rose in one month from 45 to more than 615 new cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants. “Paris has many festive places frequented by young people, analyzes Anne Souyris, the health assistant to the mayor, Anne Hidalgo. However, these places of conviviality are obviously places of contamination. “
For now, this booming fourth wave has not put hospitals in difficulty. As young people are less fragile, they have to be hospitalized less often. But the balance of entries and exits became positive again in establishments in the region. “In Ile-de-France, 22% of intensive care beds are already occupied by patients with Covid-19”, Anne Souyris alert. Aurélien Rousseau, the director general of the regional health agency (ARS), has no illusions: “Hospitals will be under great pressure again, he said on July 25 in the Sunday newspaper. The major risk would be an early arrival of the wave, in August, in a period of staff shortages. “
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