France predicts scale of Omicron spread
France’s Scientific Council has said it expects to see hundreds of thousands of new Covid-19 cases every day in January, with the highly contagious Omicron variant taking hold over the country and dismantling French society.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet from the Scientific Council, which advises the French government, warned of a tidal wave of Covid-19 infections in January.
“It is expected that there will be hundreds of thousands of cases per day in January,” Fontanet predicted, adding that the Omicron variant is already “well established on French territory.” He noted that the variant should become the dominant strain by the end of 2021.
The emergence of Omicron could even lead to the “disorganization of society” in France, according to Jean-François Delfraissy, the president of the Scientific Council.
The health experts are warning that the virus has already taken hold in many parts of the country, and particularly among certain age groups. The variant will first circulate very actively in young people before spreading to older generations, Fontanet believes.
According to BFMTV, in the past week, 1% of those aged 20-29 tested positive for the virus in the capital region Ile-de-France, which includes Paris.