Sat, 24 Jul 2021

PARIS, June 15 (Xinhua) -- French Health Minister Olivier Veran urged on Tuesday vigilance against the more infectious Delta variant of the COVID-19, which is responsible for 2-4 percent of infections or 50 to 150 new cases per day in the country.

"You will say that it is still little but it was the British situation a few weeks ago," said the minister during a visit to a vaccination centre in Paris.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to postpone the lifting of remaining restrictions, previously scheduled for June 21, for four weeks as the number of new infections have crept up because of the Delta variant first detected in India.

"We are in the process of crushing the virus and crushing the pandemic, and we must in no way let the (Delta) variant get the upper hand and lead to another wave of the pandemic," said Veran.

A third lockdown imposed early April and the acceleration in vaccine rollout had helped France to contain the virus resurgence and avoid collapse of its health system.

The daily average of new cases fell to around 4,500 in the past week, sharply down from some 40,000 registered two months ago.

The numbers of hospitalizations and critically-ill patients -- key indicators to evaluate the health system's ability to cope with sanitary crisis -- fell for the sixth straight week.

As of Monday, some 12,374 COVID-19 patients remained hospitalized, including 2,068 in intensive care units, down from 6,000 reported at the end of April.

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