“The threat of the Delta variant is very present,” writes the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Health Agency in a point dated July 1.
A “sharply increasing” Delta variant. In its latest update on Thursday, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Health Agency warns of the increase, in one week, in the proportion of people tested positive for the Delta variant. It was 23% from June 19 to 26, against 10% the previous week. “The threat of the Delta variant is therefore very present,” writes the ARS.
“We are already at more than 100 cases detected and 13 clusters”, explained Wednesday Sébastien Debeaumont deputy director of ARS Paca to France 3. “We can see that the Delta virus does not necessarily circulate in a more worrying way than elsewhere, we are at about 20% in France, as much in Paca, but we can see that it is progressing “.
This variant appears to be more contagious than the Alpha variant, up to 60% according to some studies, and could be more virulent.
Clusters and restrictions still in place
A cluster of about fifteen people was thus detected in Antibes (Alpes-Maritimes), a first case was identified in the Hautes-Alpes, and to prevent the spread of cases, the Var department has maintained restrictions, at less until July 16: the wearing of a mask outdoors is not completely lifted and the ban on alcohol consumption on public roads is extended.
“It is of course a disappointment because we all hoped to throw off the mask and have complete freedom from July 1”, without restriction, explains to BFMTV Jean-Pierre Giran, mayor of the city of Hyères (Var), but “whatever the disappointment, they will have to be applied”.
However, the number of hospitalizations continues to decline, and the incidence rate in the region has even decreased, from 17 in the period from June 14 to 20 to 13 from 21 to 27. It is 18.9 at the level national. Figures which can reassure, but which do not raise the concern vis-a-vis the proliferation of this mutation.
“There may be the concern of the Delta variant, but there may also be and above all the concern that the arrival of large numbers of tourists from July 1 will lead to a risk of proliferation”, says Jean-Pierre Giran.
“Convince the population and especially young people to resort to vaccination”
Faced with the Delta variant, it is necessary to continue to respect social distancing and barrier gestures, but vaccination coverage currently remains the main tool to fight the virus, because vaccines are effective against it. In this region, according to the latest ARS report, 48% of the population has received at least one dose, and 34% have a complete vaccination schedule, figures comparable at the national level.
So that the spread of the Delta variant does not continue, “I believe that we must go to the populations, set up mobile vaccination buses on the places of concentration of individuals, that is to say the beaches currently”, declares with BFMTV Annie Levy-Mozziconacci, doctor. The ARS Paca will also launch a communication campaign “to encourage and convince the population and especially young people to resort to vaccination”.
If the contaminations continue, “we will have to put in place restrictions, and in particular, why not, a curfew”, assured to 20 minutes Benoît Huber, the chief of staff of the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes. “We know what we will do, but the goal is not to have to do it.”
Salome Vincendon BFMTV reporter