Rabat – French scientist Didier Raoult recently spoke about the increase of COVID-19 cases in France, suggesting that North Africans helped trigger the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.
“In Marseille, things seem to have started in July with a mutant virus from North Africa,” he said in an interview with Cnews on Monday.
He claimed that the virus came with people who made round trips on boats to and from the Maghreb.
“Since then, there are other mutant viruses circulating and if in July, we had a lot of positive young people, now all ages are affected, except children,” he said.
Didier Raoult, who is the head of the IHY Mediterranee Infection, also spoke about the risks of infection transmission at weddings, singling out two examples.
“We know that in Marseille, weddings among the Roma or parties in the Jewish community were extremely important sources of contagion,” he said.
The scientist advised French citizens to apply “common sense” and “restrict gatherings,” in particular for people who have close social relations.
He argued that during weddings, it is difficult to prevent people from dancing at the same time.
“The contagion is more important, because nobody thinks about asking anymore, nobody thinks about putting gel on the hands [during weddings].”
The French scientist recalled the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in France, saying that “there are more cases today than three weeks or a month ago.”
He reassured citizens that with vigilance and more responsibility, they can stop the spread of the virus.
“We must try to continue to have a normal life, while being careful not to overexpose us and our families to the risk of transmission of this contagious disease.”
France is among the countries that have been reporting thousands of COVID-19 daily cases since the start of the pandemic.
To date, the European country has recorded over 387,000 COVID-19 cases, 98,507 recoveries, and over 30,95 deaths.
In May, BBC quoted a doctor who suggested that the virus arrived in France in December 2019.
In the Maghreb, countries such as Morocco did not report the first cases of COVID-19 until February or March.
Morocco and Tunisia, for example, reported their first COVID-19 cases on March 2, while Algeria confirmed its first case on February 25.
The US is a global epicenter of COVID-19 with over 6.65 million cases, including over 3.61 million recoveries and 198,000 deaths.
India and Brazil have also confirmed millions of cases, and hundreds of deaths occur daily.