majority of hospital deaths now linked to Omicron variant


Home » World » Majority of hospital deaths now linked to Omicron variant January 29, 2022

majority of hospital deaths now linked to Omicron variant

Resuscitation service at the Marseille Nord hospital, December 31, 2021. FRANCE KEYSER / MYOP FOR “THE WORLD”

They are the forgotten of the epidemic. In March 2020, however, a shocking image struck people, a symbol of Europe’s dread in the face of the first wave of Covid-19: a procession of military trucks then left Bergamo, in northern Italy, carrying the coffins of the deceased. .

This vision faded as we learned, in subsequent waves, to deal with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Weariness, habituation, desire to move on… The litany of the number of victims, in fact, is no longer shelled as at the start of the pandemic. And the deaths of Covid-19 have become invisible. “Society doesn’t want to see them. They disrupt the optimistic scenario that Omicron would be associated with herd immunity and the end of the pandemic,” notes Professor Marc Leone, head of the intensive care unit at the North Hospital of Marseille (AP-HM).

Yet this virus still kills. Between January 17 and 23, it claimed 1,665 new victims in France. Or 238 deaths per day on average, an increase of 8% compared to the previous week. “This increase mainly affects people aged 60 and over, in all regions”, specifies Public Health France (SPF) in its weekly update of January 27.

As of January 28, the average daily death toll was 262, a bigger jump of 18% from the previous week. But the curve of the number of daily deaths with a diagnosis of Covid-19 has been climbing steadily since November 19, 2021, when 50 deaths linked to the disease were recorded. For the record, the virus took 613 people at the peak of the first wave, April 6, 2020. And 551 people at the peak of the second wave, November 9, 2020.

“One image haunts me, that of the refrigerated truck parked next to our funeral home during the first wave. We didn’t have enough room to accommodate all the corpses, testifies Professor Frédéric Adnet, head of the emergency department of the Avicenne hospital (AP-HP) in Bobigny. During the following waves, I was always afraid to see this truck reappear. He came back in the fourth wave but I haven’t seen him since. »

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Mechanical increase in hospitalizations and deaths

However, the number of deaths is increasing, a direct consequence of the exponential increase in the number of new infections. “Even with a less severe virus [le variant Omicron]there are mechanically a certain number of hospitalizations and deaths” which is increasing, explains Geneviève Chêne, director general of the SPF. Between January 17 and 23, more than 358,245 new infections were detected each day on average. Or 3,736 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, an incidence rate up 20% compared to the previous week.

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