This means that each COVID-19 patient will infect an average of 1.2 other people, which is a trend of increasing circulation of the virus.
France is panicking over signs of an upsurge of the coronavirus in several regions of the country, particularly in western and southern France.
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Since July 21, the country has made face covering mandatory in shops and other closed public spaces.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said on France 2 television on Wednesday that the government would provide seven million French people living in poverty with 40 million reusable masks free of charge.
Speaking specifically about Mayenne, which has been one of the main sources of coronavirus, the general directorate of health said that the department of north-west France remains in “high vulnerability”.
The general management declared: “The epidemiological situation is evolving with a high incidence and positivity rate for the tests.
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“This situation shows the strong evolutionary potential that remains when the virus continues to circulate and the transmission conditions are favorable. ”
But the Minister of Health Véran insisted: “We have rather good news in Mayenne with the reduction in the positivity of the number of tests, that is to say that out of 100 tests, we had up to eight to nine positive results at the start, then five, now it’s three. ”
Despite the increase in coronavirus clusters, he insisted that there are “no worrying numbers” in terms of hospitalizations, and “at this point we are very far from the second wave”.
The prefect of the Brittany west department of Finistère declared that the situation there is “under control, even after having alerted to a” fairly rapid development “of the coronavirus, calling it a” source of concern “.
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The R rate there is 3.1%, according to Santé Publique France – a massive increase from the national average of 1.2%.
He declared: “The main vector of dissemination of the virus remains the mixing of the population because of the holidays”, with a strong “tourist pressure”.
The prefect of Finistère added that this development is the result of “the emergence of sporadic cases, not on a large scale”.
But despite the attempt to downplay the gravity of the situation in Finistère, fears are growing that a second wave of coronavirus could soon be on the way.
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Jean-Paul Mongeat, departmental delegate of the Brittany Regional Health Agency (ARS), warned: “The situation is worrying because we are witnessing an upsurge in the number of confirmed cases”.
Fears of a new epidemic are also intensifying in the Grand-Est, a region in northeastern France, where the number of new cases has almost doubled week by week.
Michel Vernay, epidemiologist and head of Public Health France in the Grand Est, declared: “From July 13 to 19, we observed 298 new cases diagnosed in the region, while the previous week we had only 156.
“Very clearly, the cases doubled last week. ”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.