Covid variants are sign of hope says leading French doctor
By Joanna York
A leading French doctor has said that the emergence of new Covid variants could be a sign of “hope”, as immunity against the virus grows.
Professor Bruno Lina, virologist and member of national health advisory board le Conseil scientifique, spoke to news source FranceInfo yesterday.
He said that increasing immunity due to vaccinations and prior infections was “starting” to impact the spread of the virus, and new variants could be seen as a sign of the Covid-19 virus trying to survive.
He said: “If [the virus] wants to continue to spread within the human population, it has to adapt and evolve.
“That is what it is doing now.”
Virus will not completely disappear
The professor said that while the Covid-19 virus would not completely disappear, it would become less significant over time.
He said: “At a given moment, the potential for the virus to evolve will come to an end.
“At that point, it will join the ranks of other banal seasonal viruses that cause colds and other infections which are not serious.”
UK variant now dominant in France
Covid variants have been partially blamed for the health situation worsening in 20 departments in France in recent weeks.
The UK variant now accounts for 60% of Covid cases nationally.
Specialists have said that the highly contagious strain could become the only variant in circulation by the end of March.
And new strains are still emerging, such as the New York variant, which has been identified in 15 US states since it was first detected in November 2020.
But Professor Lina said the emergence of new variants is a positive sign.
He said: “It’s an element of hope.”
“We are maybe in a phase in which the virus has finished evolving, which means we are coming to the end of the pandemic phase, and will enter into a phase in which circulation of the virus is much lower.”