Ian Brodie with Reuters: A new wave in France of COVID-19 infections fuelled by emerging variants of the disease should peak towards end-July, the French government’s top scientific adviser Jean-Francois Delfraissy said.

“The peak is not yet here, this peak of infections will probably be for end-July,” Delfraissy told RTL radio.

“Then the BA.5 variant will reappear, if it is not overtaken by another variant …in autumn,” he added.

The number of new cases continues to rise, and there is a two-week lag between infection and, in the more serious cases, hospitalisation.

However, while there is no sign that the new strains are more serious they are certainly more infectious.

The French government also recommended last week that people should start wearing face masks again in crowded areas, especially in public transport, to counter the latest surge in COVID cases.

(Reporting by Myriam Rivet; Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centre in Les Sorinieres, near Nantes, France, June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe