Omicron cases rise in France as number of ICU patients tops 3,000 once again

A French firefighter prepares a Covid vaccine.
A French firefighter prepares a Covid vaccine. Omicron cases are rising fast. (Photo by Sylvain THOMAS / AFP)
Omicron Covid cases continue to rise in France as the number of Covid patients in French intensive care units rises above 3,000 for the first time since May. The government says it will not rule out further restrictions.

The French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal gave a sobering assessment of the health situation in the country during an interview with France 2 on Tuesday morning.

“The Omicron variant is reshuffling the cards. It is much more contagious than anything we have seen. Every two to three days, the number of cases doubles,” he said. “We must really pay attention.” 

When asked whether this would translate into further restrictions, he said: “If we see a very strong uptick in the epidemic linked to the Omicron variant, we obviously could go further.”

Guillaume Rozier, the data scientist behind Covid Tracker, has said that while Delta cases appear to be levelling off, the Omicron variant has picked up the slack now accounting for an estimated 8.8 percent of positive cases.

He suggested that rising case numbers were being driven by people aged 20-39. The average number of daily infections is now over 51,000 – a rise of 6 percent from last week. Intensive care units are at 60 percent capacity, with more than 3,000 patients currently confined to beds – for the first time since May. The government has suggested that as many as 4,000 patients could be lying in ICU in the coming weeks. 

Encouragingly, a study released by France’s Pasteur Institute on Monday confirmed what many suspected: that booster doses are extremely effective at “neutralising” Omicron infections.

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On Tuesday morning France’s Health Minister, Olivier Veran, said that the country would pass the 20 million booster dose mark at some point during the day. 

Many people in France are also getting vaccinated for the very first time – likely in response to the government’s promise to implement a vaccine pass to replace the current health pass. Since the start of December, more than 20,000 people have received their first vaccine dose every day. On Monday, 26,000 people made appointments for firs vaccinations via the medical booking website, Doctolib

“Thank you to everyone who is mobilised like never before, allowing us to better protect ourselves agains Delta and Omicron variants,” Véran wrote on Twitter. 

The government has urged people to avoid large gatherings over Christmas and has cracked down on New Year’s Eve celebrations


Member comments

  1. I would like to understand more and have a clearer picture, to know for instance;

    Percentage of the population of unvaccinated people who had to go to hospital (with age and underlying conditions analysis)
    Percentage of the population of early double vaccinated people who had to go to hospital (plus age and underlying conditions analysis)
    Percentage of recently doubly vaccinated population, and of triply vaccinated population (with age and underlying conditions analysis)
    Percentage of unvaccinated population receiving timely adapted treatment and care who have to go to hospital, compared to those given no care and the advice ‘stay at home and take paracetamol’ (with age and underlying conditions)
    Increases in hospital cases in previous years at this time of the year compared to this year

    Today I read a BBC article saying in India cases are rising and there is a move to vaccinate, without mentioning that India has 341deaths per million…compared to the UK 2,153 and France 1,859 (source Worldometers), and no information on what is behind India’s comparatively low death rates (could it be average age of population, way of collecting stats, Ivermectin…?). Stats can be misleading or incomplete when used to build an argument…I truly hope Omicron will not be serious.

  2. I wish they’d publish the percentage of those with the virus split into vax and non-vax. it would solve many an argument hereabouts, in the land of the complotistes. In the absence of factual information, people make up their own “facts”.

  3. Oke now I want to know how many of those 3000 are fully vaccinated? And their ages! The autumn/winter has always been a time when more people let go of the grass than other times of the year.

    1. That figure is never released. Not in Britain and not in France. Can only suppose it wouldn’t fit the narrative.

      1. Actually it is – figure is around 70% in the UK. So if that’s mirrored in France around 2,100 people

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