The new increase in Covid-19 cases is explained by the contagiousness of the BA.5 variant of Omicron, the lesser application of barrier gestures, and the reduction, over time, of the immunity induced by the vaccine, according to the head of service at the Tenon hospital.
While nearly 80,000 new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the past 24 hours, Gilles Pialoux called on BFMTV-RMC this Friday for the French to “not wait until there are constraints” to wear the mask again. and make an appointment for a booster dose of the vaccine.
“We are in a situation that is complex but with weapons that are different from before,” said the head of the infectious and tropical diseases department at Tenon hospital, who came masked on the BFMTV set.
Indeed, the BA.5 variant of Omicron, which represents “65% of new contaminations”, is “highly contagious”. With the BA.4, they are “a bit like stealth planes, that is to say they pass below the immune defenses”, regretted Gilles Pialoux.
To the contagiousness of these variants, the head of department added the distance of many vaccinated with their last dose of vaccine and “a festive period with barrier gestures close to zero” to explain the new increase in the number of cases of Covid- 19.
“A call to individual responsibility”
But if this increase in cases has not, for the moment, translated into an increase in intensive care admissions, and that there are no “signals showing that BA.5 is more serious than the other variants” , Gilles Pialoux called on the French to “individual responsibility”.
“We are in this political situation where decision-making will be more complex, […] there is a call for individual responsibility on wearing a mask on public transport. It is not because it is not mandatory that it is not recommended”, he hammered.
“We will have to get used to living with waves”
He also pleaded for a return to vaccination, and in particular the second booster dose, or fourth dose of vaccine. “These highly contagious variants are bad news for herd immunity, they require that we increase the level of protection of the most fragile” because “the immunity induced by the initial strain of Covid-19 is almost useless for Omicron, these are different diseases” he explained.
“Nothing is settled, we will have to get used to living with these waves, and above all to be reactive, that the French do not wait for there to be constraints to return to vaccination” warned Gilles Pialoux again, ensuring that “everyone” can benefit from a booster dose.
The hospital facing “a no man’s land of political decisions”
The head of department was also worried about the situation of the public hospital which suffers from a lack of staff and resources. “I am very worried, I am afraid that in the face of the 7th wave, the hospital will be the 7th company,” he said, regretting that four operating theaters, out of the 12 existing at the Tenon hospital, are closed due to a lack of staff.
Pending the replacement of the current Minister of Health Brigite Bourguignon, beaten in the legislative elections, Gilles Pialoux denounced a “no man’s land of catastrophic political decisions for the hospital” because “the sick cannot wait”.
In early June, Emmanuel Macron announced the launch of a “flash mission” to take stock of the difficulties encountered by emergency services in hospitals. The report is expected to be released early next week. “I hope that the flash report will have a flash decision” let go of Gilles Pialoux.