Thursday, March 11, 2021

New virus variants become the norm in France - RTE

New virus variants become the norm in France

France's Minister for Health has issued a stark warning about the growing number of cases of Covid-19, describing the situation as tense and worrying.

Olivier Veran said the new variants of the virus had now become the norm in France, describing them as more contagious and more dangerous.

He said the variants were responsible for more admissions to intensive care than the original version of the virus.

There are currently 3,992 people in intensive care with the virus in France. The minister said a new patient is admitted to ICU every 12 minutes in the Ile-de-France region where the capital Paris is situated.

Mr Veran said the situation in the greater Paris region was especially worrying, with a high number of people in intensive care units for the disease.

During a weekly briefing, he said that if the pandemic continued at its current rhythm in the area, the government would take "the necessary measures" to rein it in.

He said non-Covid ICU beds would be "cancelled" in Paris if necessary.

Mr Veran said French health authorities see no reason to suspend the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccinations.

"The benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine are higher than the risks," he said.

Health authorities in Denmark, Norway and Iceland suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of the formation of blood clots in some people who had been vaccinated.

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