People can be reinfected with Covid from one month to six weeks after initially contracting the virus, France’s biologists union has reported.
François Blanchecotte, president of the Syndicat des biologistes, told Franceinfo that this normally concerns people who have had Omicron and are now catching the BA.2 subvariant.
“This often happens with children, within families and in care homes.
“Some 57% of the clusters [of cases] we are detecting are in care homes and 14% in medical settings for people with disabilities. Around 8% of these cases are in businesses and 10% in nurseries,” he added.
400,000 to 450,000 tests per day
This comes as Philippe Besset, president of the Fédération des syndicats pharmaceutiques de France also said that currently “one in three [Covid] tests come back positive” and that pharmacies are carrying out between “400,000 and 450,000 tests per day.
“These are people with symptoms resembling signs of flu: sore throats, runny noses and fevers.” Prof Blanchecotte also made reference to “very violent” headaches which last for several days.
“It concerns all age groups. Alongside this Covid rebound, there are also all the other winter illnesses which have not come to an end yet.”
Mr Besset added that pharmacies are reaching maximum capacity, and will no longer be able to carry out all the tests without help if demand keeps increasing.
“We got up to 1.1 million antigen tests each day in January but we had support from new recruits. Now we are at 400,000 a day, which is the maximum we can do without asking for help.”
Last week, 130,000 new cases were being reported each day in France, according to Santé publique France figures.
Government-approved information service CovidTracker also reports that the country’s infection rate is 1,289 cases per 100,000 people, and its R rate – the number of people to whom an infected person will pass on the virus – is 1.33, meaning that Covid is actively spreading among the population.
However, the number of people being treated for Covid in intensive care is down 6% – to 1,533 patients – in comparison to last week.