"Of course it can happen": Véran does not close the door to a return of the mask in the event of a new variant

Guest of BFMTV-RMC this Thursday, the Minister of Health assured that the epidemic situation was “under control”, while mentioning the possible appearance of new variants from Omicron.

On Wednesday, the government announced the end of the wearing of the compulsory mask in transport from May 16, marking the lifting of one of the last epidemic braking measures on French territory. Guest of BFMTV-RMC this Thursday, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran justified this approach, despite the 40,000 new cases detected daily.

“The situation is under control. We know the risks, we are collectively protected against this wave of Omicron variant that we have faced with a minimum of health damage”, he assured. “We put braking measures when necessary, and we gradually raise them as the contamination decreases”.

While specifying that the mask remained “recommended”, “for all people who consider themselves threatened by the virus”.

“Collective protection will remain strong”

Olivier Véran also spoke about the situation in South Africa, hit by a wave of BA.4 and BA.5 variants, cousins ​​of Omicron. The evolution of the epidemic there is closely monitored by the international community, especially since it is in this territory that the Omicron variant first emerged.

“There are no worrying characteristics. It is not impossible that it will arrive in Europe this summer, and it is possible that we will have a new wave. It can happen, which will then require a rethinking. of a vaccination of the most fragile”, he underlined.

Thus, this Thursday, Olivier Véran did not close the door to a return of the mask in the event of a new epidemic wave.

“Of course it can happen. I obviously don’t want it, but if I listen to the specialists, there will be other variants that will appear, first cousins ​​of Omicron, that is to say that our protection collective would remain strong,” he said.

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