PARIS:The French government warned on Wednesday of a rapidly approaching fourth wave of coronavirus, with the Delta variant strongly spreading across the country.
Spokesperson Gabriel Attal told a news conference that the variant, which was first detected in India, is dominant in 11 regions, has exceeded 40% of new cases and continues to rise. Until last week, it constituted 20% of new cases.
The variant is particularly deteriorating in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, Ile-de-France, or greater Paris, and Brittany regions as there is a noted increase in the incidence rate – cases per 1,000 residents per week – by 21%. The incidence rate has doubled among the younger population of 20-29-year-olds, he said.
France lifted lockdown restrictions in June, even as clusters of the Delta variant were detected in certain parts of the country.
The government permitted the removal of masks outdoors and evening curfews at least 10 days ahead of the original June 30 deadline. It also allowed the entry of foreign tourists who have been vaccinated or have tested negative.