France is being engulfed by a COVID wave that could reach its peak in around 10 days, health officials have said.
Professor Alain Fischer, an official responsible for France’s COVID vaccine strategy, said that this peak could come “primarily towards the beginning of the second fortnight of January, so if we work it out this would be in around 10 days time”.
He also told France’s LCI TV: “I think we are coming to the peak of this new wave.”
It comes as the European country reported 261,481 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, which was less than the record of more than 332,000 that was set on Wednesday.
This was also the first time the seven-day moving average of new cases rose above 200,000 since the start of the pandemic.
The French health ministry also reported 204 new deaths, taking the total COVID death tally to more than 125,000.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said he is hoping that enough people will take up COVID vaccine booster shots so that he can avoid enforcing major new restrictions to tackle the ongoing pandemic.
He also caused a stir earlier this week when he bluntly said he wanted to “p*** off” the non-vaccinated.
Mr Macron told Le Parisien newspaper in an interview: “The unvaccinated, I really want to p*** them off. And so, we’re going to continue doing so, until the end. That’s the strategy.
“I won’t send (the unvaccinated) to prison, I won’t vaccinate by force. So we need to tell them, from Jan 15, you won’t be able to go to the restaurant anymore, you won’t be able to down one, won’t be able to have a coffee, go to the theatre, the cinema…”
However, he was criticised by far right leader Marine Le Pen as she said on Twitter: “A president shouldn’t say that. Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Violent protests broke out in Guadeloupe and Martinique back in November when Mr Macron brought in a requirement for all healthcare workers to be vaccinated, a measure that is still in force in mainland France.
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