As COVID-19 cases flared up and the number of patients requiring life support surged after declining for four months, a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is highly expected this autumn or winter in France, the country’s scientific council predicted.
In a report published on Tuesday, the scientific advisory body of the French government noted that “it is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.”
“France has the situation under control but it is fragile with a surge of virus circulation this summer,” it warned, stressing that “the short-term future of the pandemic mainly lies in the hands of the population.”
“The virus is circulating actively with an increased absence of distancing and barrier measures: the balance is fragile and we can switch at any time to a less controlled scenario like in Spain,” it said.
The scientific council recommended better access to tests to rapidly trace and isolate cases and stricter control on travellers arriving from countries “at risk”.
A total of 191,295 people in France have caught the coronavirus as of Monday, with 3,376 new confirmed infections at the weekend, data released by the Health Ministry showed.
The number of people in intensive care units, a key gauge to determine hospitals’ ability to cope with the epidemic, stood at 384, up from 371 registered on Friday. It increased for the second time in a week after having been falling since early April.