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« At this point, we have around ten suspected or proven cases of the English variant », Declared Mr. Véran on RTL. ” It is a variant that worries us and for which we are deploying very important logistical and diagnostic resources. », He continued.
« We watch it like milk on fire “, He insisted, recalling that” all people returning to France from England must have been tested ». « There are quarantines when there are doubts “, he said.
Detected in dozens of countries
England and Scotland announced Monday their total containment in the face of the surge of the Covid-19 epidemic, attributed to the new variant of the virus circulating in the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland and Wales had already instituted their third lockdown just after Christmas.
« It is clear that we must do more ” for ” take control Of this more contagious variant, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
Detected in November in the UK, the B.1.1.7 variant, now known as VOC 202012/01, quickly spread across the UK and was then detected in dozens of countries around the world.
Much more contagious
According to the first data, it is significantly more contagious than the classic virus. Even if it does not appear to be inherently more dangerous, the fact that it is more transmissible increases the risk of hospitals being saturated with Covid-19 patients.
In France, a first case was confirmed on December 25, in Tours, on a Frenchman who had arrived from London a few days earlier. A second case was detected in Corsica on a person returning from London, the Corsican Regional Health Agency said on Monday.
The British variant ” is in Paris, we found him in a Parisian laboratory for a patient in the Paris region “, For his part declared the director general of the AP-HP (Public Assistance – Hospitals of Paris), Martin Hirsch, Tuesday on France 2.
Finally, Bayonne rugby club said last week that ten of its members (9 players and one staff member) had been infected with the British variant after a home match against England’s Leicester team on December 19. However, they no longer seem to be carriers of the virus since they tested negative on Saturday, like the whole club.
Another variant, also probably more transmissible than the classic virus, has also emerged in South Africa, where it is now the majority.
Health authorities said last Thursday that a first case of contamination with this South African variant had been detected in France, in a man returning from South Africa and living in the Haut-Rhin.