For the past few days, “we have already seen a slight increase (…) in viral circulation” of the coronavirus, declared at a press conference Guillaume Spaccaferri, epidemiologist at Public Health France.

He nevertheless underlined “the absence of hospital impact”, even if it is still early to assess this.

The number of Covid cases had been declining steadily for two months, after having reached two successive peaks in recent months, against a backdrop of the rise of the Omicron variant, one in January and the other at the very beginning of spring.

But the epidemic has started to progress again for a few days. The seven-day average of cases, an indicator that smooths out abnormal variations, has been rising since Monday and now stands at around 20,000 new daily cases.

Why this recovery? “It is always difficult to provide a response with a single cause”, admitted Mr. Spaccaferri, referring to “a less good application of barrier gestures” as well as “the impact of the dissemination of BA.4 and BA.5 “.

These new incarnations of the Omicron variant, potentially more contagious than the previous ones, have notably become the majority in South Africa and Portugal where they have caused recent waves of cases, which have now stabilized.

In France, the two are gaining ground even if they remained in the minority in the figures stopped last week: less than 1% of new cases for BA.4 and 5% for BA.5.

Public Health France experts, however, noted that the experience of South Africa and Portugal was a priori reassuring, since these two countries did not experience massive waves of hospitalizations and deaths.

“To date, there is no signal that suggests BA.4 or BA.5 are more severe than other Omicron lineages,” noted epidemiologist Anna Maisa.