• Several French regions have seen the number of new positive cases of Covid-19 decrease in recent days, but not Brittany.

  • The region was later hit by the Omicron wave and expects a decline in February.

  • Under tension, the Rennes University Hospital has broken its “record” of hospitalizations and is impatiently awaiting an upturn.

Brittany had so far been rather spared from the Covid-19 epidemic. Over the waves suffered by France, the western peninsula had always been less affected than the rest of France. Its population had however made the choice of a massive vaccination, obtaining the unofficial title of the most vaccinated region of France. On January 19, the vaccination coverage (at least one dose) of the Breton population was 83.4% for all ages. A figure that even climbed to 95.9% for those over 12 years old. While the Omicron variant shows some signs of relaxation in certain French regions, Brittany does not seem to be affected by this drop in contamination. Curious ? Not really.

Friday's numbers speak for themselves.

In the region, the incidence rate of Covid-19 had increased by 657 points in one week, standing at 2,800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and even 3,500 cases in Ille-et-Vilaine.

While the circulation of the virus seems to be decreasing in Ile-de-France and Corsica, it is still progressing in Brittany.

“We were hoping for an upturn last week but it didn't happen.

There is a small lag effect in the region.

The decline in Brittany will undoubtedly be a little delayed, ”said Véronique Anatole-Touzet, director of the Rennes University Hospital.

The reason ?

“The Omicron variant took longer to emerge with us, it arrived later,” analyzes Professor Pierre Tattevin.

A “tumble” expected in February

The CHU infectious disease specialist, however, makes a cautious assumption, based on the forecasts of the World Health Organization.

“In February, we should have a plunge in the number of cases, as was the case in Great Britain”, cautiously advances the infectious disease specialist, speaking in the conditional.

This decline observed in Ile-de-France should begin within a fortnight in the West.

#vaccination 💉l DID YOU KNOW ❓

In Brittany, 77.5% of the population eligible for the vaccine booster received their booster dose, i.e. 2,040,508 injections!

ℹ️ COVID-19 vaccination in #Brittany: https://t.co/fwDvvJM5hv pic.twitter.com/FKhIRkNyCG

– ARS Brittany (@ArsBretagne) January 24, 2022

In hospitals in the region, this slowdown is eagerly awaited. On the front line in the reception of Covid patients, the Rennes University Hospital had to deprogram certain operations to take care of the sick. "But we have not closed any beds, unlike many other hospitals", welcomes the director of the establishment, welcoming the work and the solidarity of the nursing staff. “The staff is exhausted. We continue to recruit”. Currently, 350 of the 9,000 hospital workers are on sick leave due to their positivity. “The situation is tense but it remains under control. We remain on a very high plateau. For the moment, it is holding up, but the hospital is in tension, ”assures Professor Tattevin.

On January 19, the health establishment exceeded its peak of 147 hospitalizations reached during the first wave of March 2020. Since then, the “record” has been broken and stands at 169 hospitalized Covid-19 positive patients, including 26 in intensive care.

“This mainly concerns people who have not been vaccinated or who do not respond to the vaccine”, assures Professor Jean-Yves Gauvrit, president of the medical commission for the establishment of the CHU.

Vaccinated patients are quite numerous in medical departments, suffering from less serious forms.

“We noticed that they came out faster and that they recovered better,” insists Professor Gauvrit.


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