The French government’s top adviser on the coronavirus (Covid-19) has warned that a new variant of the disease would “probably” emerge in the winter months this year.
The country is currently battling an unprecedented increase in the number of new cases caused by the more infectious Delta variant, which was first recorded in India.
“We will probably have another variant arrive during the winter,” Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the French government’s scientific council, told the BFM news channel.
He said that he could not predict the consequences, or whether it would be more dangerous, adding that Covid-19 had “relatively limited” capacities to mutate.
The infectious diseases specialist urged French people to return to social distancing and mask-wearing, and said a “return to normal” would probably be in 2022 or 2023.
“The big challenge for the next couple of years will be, how are we going to co-exist, with two worlds: countries that are vaccinated and those that are not,” he said.
The government’s strategy to contain the current fourth wave of cases is based on the introduction of a “health pass” system that requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative test when entering public venues.
Since Wednesday, cinemas, museums, swimming pools and sports venues have been required to request that patrons present their health credentials, leading to criticism from some quarters that it restricts the freedoms of the non-vaccinated.
The lower house of parliament approved a draft law early yesterday morning that will extend the system to cafes and restaurants from next month, and make vaccinations mandatory for health and social care workers from September.
The legislation will now be examined during an emergency session by the upper house senate, with the government hoping for approval by the end of the weekend.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Pakistan calls for unfreezing of Afghan assets ahead of UN talks
EU backs France in submarine dispute, asking: Is America back?
Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in mask row
Lava engulfs 100 homes in Canary Islands
Eight dead after gunman opens fire on Russian campus
Thousands flee as lava spewing from volcano on Spain's La Palma island destroys houses
Putin’s party set to retain parliament majority after election
France denies cancelling Swiss meet over snub
Daredevil takes Seine tightrope walk