COVID-19 Delta variant gaining traction in France -minister

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PARIS, June 29 (Reuters) - The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus first found in India now represents some 20% of COVID-19 cases in France, French Health Minister Olivier Veran told France Info radio, up from last week's estimate of it representing 9-10% of cases.

"The Delta variant now accounts for about 20% of new cases (...) its share keeps on increasing in percentage not in absolute terms as the total number of cases is decreasing," Veran said.

A medical worker prepares a dose of the "Comirnaty" Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination center in Saint-Nazaire as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign in France, May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

Only 509 new confirmed cases were reported on Monday and the seven-day moving average of daily additional infections fell to 1,819, an almost 10-month low, versus an 14 April peak of 42,225.

"(The Delta variant) is gradually becoming dominant, as it does in all countries in the world, as it is more contagious," Veran said.

Germany said on Monday that new COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant had more than doubled over a week and its spread all over the world has led some countries to reimpose some restrictions on travel. read more

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Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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