(8 Sep 2020) France has seen a rise in daily coronavirus infections, averaging over five thousand recently and prompting some to claim that the country is approaching, if not already in, a second wave.
Le Monde newspaper's front page calls the increase "exponential and worrisome."
For Dr. Laurent Toubiana, an epidemiologist with Inserm, France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research and the Director of the Irsan research institute, this is a mischaracterization.
He says that an exponential increase implies a steady increase where as France has seen numbers up and down over the past few weeks.
He also says that France is not in the midst of a COVID-19 second wave.
"There has not been a second wave" he said. "Why hasn't there been a second wave? Simply because the people susceptible to catching this illness are no longer part of this, they have already been sick."
In France's second city of Marseille, doctors have raised the alarm that nearly all the intensive care beds reserved for COVID-19 sufferers are in use.
Marseille Hospitals Medical Commission President Dominique Rossi told BFMTV that of the 70 intensive care beds designated for coronavirus patients in the surrounding Bouches-du-Rhone region, "between 65 and 67" are currently occupied.
Dr Toubiana believes that while there may be thousands in France testing positive for COVID-19, this does not mean they will all become sick, nor in his view, have we seen large scale illness recently on a level approaching the height of the pandemic.
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