Although the bare coronavirus figures in the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes show an increase in cases and hospitalisations, the pandemic scenario is not as worrying as some observers have portrayed.

The benchmark incidence rate per 100,000 population has risen to 1,400, slightly above the rate overall in France which stands at 1,344.

The above-average rate has been attributed to the high number of tourists and more social mixing over the holiday period.

Meanwhile, the number of people in hospital with coronavirus symptoms throughout the entire Alpes-Maritimes Departement stands at 159. Only 14 of those are in intensive care.

The consensus among the medical fraternity is that the seventh wave has reached its peak or will do so very soon.

The biggest concern is that a new more virulent variant may emerge, once again triggering social distancing measures and threatening economic life and individual freedoms.

Recent pressure on the hospital service in Nice has not come from an increase in coronavirus patients but from chronic short-staffing problems.