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New Covid-19 Variant ’Probable’ This Year - Top French Expert
By Staff, Agencies
The French government's top advisor on Covid-19 warned Friday that a new variant of the disease would "probably" emerge in the winter months this year.
France is currently battling an unprecedented spike in new cases caused by the more infectious Delta variant, which was first recorded in India.
"We will probably have another variant arrive during the winter," Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the French government's scientific council, told the BFM news channel.
He said that he could not predict the consequences, or whether it would be more dangerous, adding that Covid-19 had "relatively limited" capacities to mutate.
Delfraissy urged French people to return to social distancing and mask-wearing, and said a "return to normal" would probably be in 2022 or 2023.
"The big challenge for the next couple of years will be how we are going to co-exist, with two worlds: countries that are vaccinated and those that are not," he said.
Meanwhile, the French government's strategy to contain the current fourth wave of cases is based on the introduction of a "health pass" system that requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative test when entering public venues.
Since Wednesday, cinemas, museums, swimming pools and sports venues have been required to ask patrons for their health credentials, leading to criticism from some that it restricts the freedoms of the non-vaccinated.
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