PARIS (Reuters) - French Health Minister Olivier Veran said the current wave of the country's COVID-19 disease could peak in late January, with a renewed strain put on the country's hospital system.
"The fifth wave in spreading quickly (...) It has a very noticeable impact on the hospital system," Veran told France Info radio.
This new wave, with France reporting on Thursday close to 50,000 new infections for the third day running, is due to the Delta COVID-19 variant.
The new Omicron COVID variant - first reported in southern Africa and which the World Health Organization (WHO) said carries a "very high" risk of infection - has also triggered global alarm, with border closures casting a shadow over a nascent economic recovery from a two-year pandemic.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)