With French hospitals close to being overwhelmed by patients with bronchitis and the ‘flu, French health authorities are increasingly concerned about rising numbers of coronavirus sufferers needing beds.

Public Health France said that last week was marked by a “resumption of the circulation” of coronavirus and an increase in hospitalisations.

It is currently difficult to obtain precise details of the number of cases in France, due to strikes in diagnostic laboratories.

However, data from pharmacies shows the end of a brief lull in the epidemic in recent weeks. Public Health France said that the current rebound is reflected in an upward trend in new hospitalisations and admissions to critical care after four weeks of decline, Le Nouvel Observateur reported.

Last week 4,210 people were hospitalised with coronavirus in France, an increase of six percent over a week.

The greatest fear is of a “triple epidemic” of coronavirus, ‘flu and bronchitis.

There his also concern that many older people have lost their immunity. Among 60-79 year olds, only 31.2 percent are considered to be protected by vaccination of less than six months in age.