Delta variant becomes dominant Covid strain in France

Medical agency suggests some compulsoy vaccinations

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France is looking at compulsory vaccination orders for health workers as the highly-contagious delta variant becomes the dominant coronavirus strain in the country.

President Emmanuel Macron is expected to address the nation on Monday on the progress of the epidemic and his government's strategy to dampen the impact of another wave of infections.

Across Europe, countries are dealing with rising cases and looking to impose new lockdown restrictions.

The country's National Medicine Academy (known by its French acronym HAS) has suggested vaccinations should be compulsory for all health workers and professionals who come into contact with people vulnerable to the disease.

Last week, HAS pressed authorities to impose compulsory vaccinations for everyone aged 12 and above.

As part of a string of suggestions, HAS recommended shortening the time period between the first and second vaccine doses and said people over 55 who received a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine should be given a second dose with an mRNA-based vaccine.

The country appears to be facing a new coronavirus wave, sparked by the delta mutation, which on Saturday accounted for 51.7 per cent of cases.

At the start of the week, the delta variant was responsible for 30 per cent of cases, but there are wildly different rates across the country.

The delta variant was detected in 83.6 per cent of case in Somme region and 83.3 per cent in the Hautes-Alpes, but only in 7.1 per cent of cases in Creuse.

After falling from more than 42,000 cases per day mid-April to less than 2,000 per day in late June, the seven-day average of new infections has been climbing rapidly again since early July. On Friday, the health ministry registered 4,580 new infections. In the past six days, the seven-day average number of new infections has increased by more than 50 per cent every day, a pattern similar to the early phases of previous waves.

The Spanish region of Catalonia was reimposing virus restrictions in the face of rising coronavirus infections. Some lockdown restrictions have been reimposed in the Netherlands after a rising wave of delta variant cases that also forced a recall of parliament from its summer break.

Updated: July 10, 2021, 11:13 PM

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