If the health situation seems to be slowly improving, Bruno Lina, virologist and member of the Scientific Council, called for caution on Saturday evening on Europe 1. He mentions a pivotal period of three to four weeks, so that the variants do not become the majority on the territory and thus spend a serene summer.
The French are living their first weekend without restrictions forcing them to stay less than 10 kilometers from his home.
On Saturday, the number of patients with Covid-19 in intensive care fell once again, according to figures from Public Health France.
Hospital pressure continues to slowly drop, indicators are improving.
"The number of cases is falling and falling even faster than expected," confirmed Bruno Lina, professor of virology and member of the Scientific Council, on Saturday evening at the microphone of Europe 1.
>> LIVE - Coronavirus: follow the evolution of the situation Saturday, May 8
But the virologist nevertheless called for caution, especially in the face of variants.
"We are in a pivotal period," he said.
He fears the moment when the Covid-19 variants "which escape the immune response" will become the majority in France: "It must be at a time when there are few cases in France and many vaccinated. "
"The ideal would be for the number of cases to drop below 10,000"
According to him, if we want to be able to maintain the schedule for lifting the restrictions, two indicators must be monitored simultaneously: the number of daily cases and the share represented by the variants among all the contaminations.
"The ideal would be for the number of cases to drop below 10,000, and even 8,000, by the time we start to open the terraces."
"The second thing is that the percentage of these variants which escape the immune response remain at a sufficiently low level, with an R0 which is less than 1", developed Bruno Lina.
When the R0, that is to say the reproduction rate of the coronavirus epidemic, is again below 1, it means that infected people are contaminating less.
On Saturday, more than 20,000 new contaminations were still recorded.
>> Find Europe evening weekend in podcast and in replay here
"If we manage to maintain this level of decline, this summer will be serene"
Will we then live a peaceful summer or with the fear of a resumption of the epidemic, like last year?
The summer will depend on the weeks to come, answers Bruno Lina.
"If we manage to maintain this level of decline and block a resumption of circulation of the virus, this summer will be very calm. On the other hand, if the number of infections increases, then we are potentially at the mercy of an epidemic resumption. at the end of summer, "he warns.
Bruno Lina estimates this pivotal period "between three and four weeks".
"During this period, we must finish capitalizing on all the assets we have to have sufficiently low incidence rates, so as not to end up with a variant that is too resistant," he said. finally concluded.