Prevalence of Delta Covid variant increases as much as 4-fold in France as infections shoot up in southwest

The French government has warned about the Delta strain of Covid-19, after it appeared to become four times more prevalent over the course of a week, with some areas of the country seeing infection rates shoot up.

Speaking on Wednesday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said that the Delta variant of Covid-19 now represents 9-10% of all new cases in France. The figure marks an alarming increase on the previous week when Health Minister Olivier Veran said the Delta variant only represented 2-4% of cases in France.

Attal said that Veran and Prime Minister Jean Castex would visit the Landes region in the southwest of France where the infection rate has shot up in recent days. 

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While infections across the country have fallen considerably over the last month, there is concern that the arrival of the Delta variant might see case numbers increase again as they have in the UK, despite high vaccination rates.

The spokesman also told reporters that Russia, along with Namibia and Seychelles, had been added to the list of countries considered by Paris as high-risk. 

Just over a quarter of French people have received both vaccine doses, leaving much of the population vulnerable to the Indian strain.

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