After six straight weeks of increase, “the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 decreased throughout the territory” the week of July 11 to 17, “however still at a very high level”, with around 90,000 new cases daily, according to the weekly point of Public Health France.

In hospitals, the decline is also evident, but new admissions (over 7,900) and new admissions to critical care (around 740) have remained at high levels, especially for the over 70s.

On the death side, they continued to increase in the hospital, with 590 the past week. In the past five months, 25,000 people have died from Covid

Even if “we are quite reassured now” about the continuation of the current wave, Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the Scientific Council, warned Thursday that “the population movements linked to the holidays” could cause “a fairly strong tension” at the hospital in resort areas where the workforce is “not fully adapted”.

In this context, the French government announced on Friday that unvaccinated nursing staff, dismissed from their jobs for months, would not be reinstated.

French caregivers – doctors, nurses … – who work in hospitals or in retirement homes, and more generally the employees of these health establishments, have been obliged since last year to be vaccinated against the disease.

The current wave is carried by sub-variants of Omicron, notably BA.5, which is now the majority.

Three cases of a closely watched new member of the Omicron family, BA.2.75 -nicknamed “Centaur”-, have been detected in France (in Martinique, in Occitanie, in the Grand Est).

Stressing that the vaccination coverage “remains insufficient”, especially among the oldest, the health authorities have called for it to be increased.

Only 39.5% of people aged 80 and over and 45.4% of residents in eligible nursing homes had received the second booster dose by July 18.

Thus, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne received her second booster dose on Friday morning, inviting vulnerable people (over 60s, pregnant women, under 60s “at risk” in particular) to do the same to “spend a summer serene”.

“Many of our elderly patients in conventional hospitalization are still in difficult situations, often decompensating for their pathologies because of Covid (…); it’s a shame when the vaccine is effective in reducing serious forms”, added noted Thursday the geriatrician and member of the scientific council Olivier Guérin.