“We are successfully breaking the Omigron variant.” The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on Thursday, December 16, welcomed the French strategy of confronting the arrival of the last worrying variant identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) Omicron type.
“200 or more cases have been detected in our country, He mentions believing that “Our strategy of isolation, tracking, communication tracking, sorting, and screening is operational”. However, “Make no mistake, this variation is the moment to invade the planet”, Warns Olivier Véran.
Olivier Véran “We successfully break the Omicron variant” pic.twitter.com/eksrIVWEz8
– BFMTV (FBFMTV) December 16, 2021
Is France performing better than its neighbors across the channel or is it less successful in identifying victims of this new variation? Francinefo saw this problem.
Only 347 cases of contamination by omigron variant have been reported in France Recent data from Public Health France (PDF), Until December 17th. As Olivier Véran underscores, this is far less than our British neighbors 11,708 cases The variation was recorded on December 16, or calculated in Denmark 9,009 cases Same day.
French figure “Necessarily underestimated”, Agrees Vincent Enof of FranceInfo, Deputy Director of the National Reference Center for Respiratory Infections at the Pastor Institute in Paris. On the one hand, the total number of Covid-19 patients was underestimated, with some carrying the virus but asymptomatic were not tested and therefore not diagnosed. Second, some people who test positive for antigen may not have a PCR test to confirm the diagnosis – which is usually mandatory.
However, only samples taken during PCR experiments are screened, i.e. it is necessary to analyze the presence of specific mutations for a particular variant. Finally, only a fraction of the positive PCR tests were subjected to this screening. December 7 to 13, 27% of positive PCR tests Screened, i.e. approx 117 300 tests, According to Public Health France.
How do the authorities decide which tests should be analyzed? The Recommended by the Directorate of Health (PDF), On December 2, positive PCR tests of persons residing in South Africa (Omicron variant identified) and contact cases of these individuals. However, the current screening method has not yet made it possible to detect a specific mutation for the Omicron variant. Models that do not respond to any mutations identified in other types are currently screened “Suspicious” Omicron should be combined with variation. “So this method is not very specific and requires enormous amount of sorting work”, Agrees Justin Schaefer, Diverse Professional Project Manager at Public Health France. This time a new mutation group has been created for the Omicron variant, and it will be implemented “In the next few days”.
Unlike screening, deployment is long (about ten days) and requires more sophisticated tools to analyze the entire gene. In France, the Federation for the Surveillance and Research of emerging pathogens by microbial genetics (Emergen Consortium), a combination of Public Health France and ANRS Emerging Infections, lists a portion of PCR positive tests each week.
Some 11,700 tests were deployed During the week from November 29 to December 5 or the previous week, 5.6% of Covid-19 patients were identified, according to the Public Health France. This is higher than in Germany or Spain, but much lower than in the United Kingdom and Denmark, as shown in this chart in the first half of November (the latest figures are available for reliable international comparisons).
Therefore, it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of omigran variants in the French territory today, says Bruno Lina, virologist and coordinator of the National Reference Center for Lyon’s Civil Hospice. They will be “Between 2000 and 3000” Bertrand Guide, head of intensive care and resuscitation services at Saint-Antoine Hospital (AP-HP), advanced to his role. Parisian (Article reserved for subscribers). One thing is for sure: Omicron variant in 1.4% of cases diagnosed in the week of December 6th “Most will change, probably in late December and early January”, According to Bruno Lina.
Experts interviewed by franceinfo promise that if the number of cases is really underestimated, the very broad sequence, in the model of the British strategy, will not give much interest. “There is no scientific logic in having a proper sequence. Note Bruno Lina. The important thing is to have a large enough sequenced model that it is representative, that is, it can see the movements of the variants, and it is sensitive, so it can detect a rare phenomenon.
The World Health Organization recalls except that“It is not necessary to test for variants of anxiety in all Sars-CoV-2 positive samples”. “You can select the ratio of samples of different geographical areas, clusters or medical types of patients”, Estimates the UN agency. She Recommended Thus deploying in September“At least 5%” Positive models. A level comparable to what France does.
The results obtained in this model allow “Everyone in French circulation must assess the rate of this variance, and this will guide future political decisions. “, Details Bruno Goinard, epidemiologist and director of the French Department of Infectious Diseases for Public Health. The hexagon does not wait for the eruption of the Omigron variant to control the arrival of travelers from the United Kingdom, ‘underscores Vincent Enough, who is in charge of the P2M deployment site at the Pastor’s Institute.
The proper sequence also indicates a “Significant financial expense” To taxpayers, adds virologist Bruno Lina, a member of the Science Council. There may also be a global backlash, Vincent Enough points out: “The British use most of the sorting equipment available worldwide, which is useful in other countries and, as a result, can no longer order the necessary tools.”