a spark of hope in the figures of the epidemic

Will we soon see the end of the tunnel? The epidemiological report of Public Health France (SPF), Friday January 14, invites cautious optimism. On the one hand, the country faced a “sharp increase in the circulation of SARS-CoV-2” on the week of January 3 to 9 (S01), indicates SPF. What’s more, new infections nationwide are at record highs, relative to the rest of the world, according to the ‘Our World in Data’ website. In addition, according to SPF, the majority of regions, in mainland France and overseas, have been faced with a “rise in new hospital and critical care admissions”. What “significantly increases the tension on hospital care”.

But on the other hand, a beginning of decline, in new contaminations, seems to be taking shape in certain regions – a hope to be confirmed. In addition, « the new variant, Omicron, is less severe than its predecessor, the Delta variant, on the criterion of conventional hospitalizations. Except, however, in those over 80, according to data from the direction of research, evaluation studies and statistics [Drees], notes Mahmoud Zureik, professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin (Yvelines). Even better, Omicron is far less severe than Delta when it comes to critical care hospitalizations. » To these reassuring data are added the encouraging testimonies of two managers of the flagships of the hospitals of Paris and Marseille, the AP-HP and the AP-HM. What, in short, legitimize the portrait of Omicron, Janus with the double face: “Much more contagious, much less dangerous. »

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In one week “nearly one in five people” tested positive

Let’s start with the incidence rate, a marker of the circulation of SARS-CoV-2. Between January 3 and 9, it climbed to 2,811 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 1,917 the previous week (+ 47%). That is, on average, more than 269,500 cases per day. That same week, “nearly one in five people have tested positive”, emphasizes SPF.

The increase in the incidence rate concerns all age groups. It remained at its highest among 20-29 year olds (5,208, +44%). But it has increased the most among 0-9 year olds (2,524, +132%) and 10-19 year olds (4,520, +104%), as has the screening rate, which has increased by +241 % among 0-9 year olds and + 87% among 10-19 year olds, in connection with the start of the school year.

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