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French govt warns ‘dangerous and quick’ Delta variant could ‘ruin the summer’

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The French government has warned its citizens that the “dangerous and quick” Delta variant has the ability to “ruin the summer”, calling on people to get vaccinated against the Covid virus soon to avoid a future lockdown.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal warned that France is at risk of a fourth wave of the virus due to the mutations of the Delta variant, which make it a highly transmissible strain. 

Attal highlighted concern among health officials as Covid infection rates rise in 11 of the nation’s metropolitan regions, including around the Ile-de-France area of Paris, which has seen numbers double in the past week.

We are getting more and more warning signals and we could see the same trajectory as in some neighbouring countries.

Citing government data, Attal stated that the Delta variant is spreading throughout the country, rising from being responsible for 10% of infections three weeks ago to 40% in the past week.

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He called on people across France to get Covid vaccinations to boost protection against the virus and any new strains that emerge, preventing the need for further lockdown restrictions throughout the summer.

The comments come ahead of a meeting of senior French ministers on Monday, where they are set to discuss the country’s response to the Delta variant and how to prevent a fourth wave from overwhelming the health service. 

To boost its vaccination coverage, France has considered introducing a law to make it compulsory for healthcare workers to have a Covid vaccine, as the group’s vaccination rate falls behind the general population. Health minister Olivier Veran has called on workers in the sector to “take the plunge” and make the “necessary and ethical” step of getting vaccinated due to their close proximity to vulnerable people.

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