Coronavirus in France: New cases climb to more than 4,700 as measures tighten

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The number of new COVID-19 cases climbed in France to more than 4,700 on Thursday as Spanish authorities warned that “things are not going well”.The French public health agency said 4,771 people were infected with COVID-19 on Thursday. The country had not seen the number of cases exceed the threshold of 4,000 since May.

It was also a massive increase from the previous day when 3,776 cases were recorded.

The sharp rise is partly explained by an increase in testing, but the rate of positive tests is now 3.3%, up from 2.3% on August 13.

France imposed a very strict lockdown in mid-March to derail the spread of the virus, but was one of the worst affected countries in Europe nonetheless. More than 30,400 people have lost their lives due to SARS-CoV-2 – the virus responsible for COVID-19 – in France since the start of the pandemic when nearly 230,000 infections have been recorded.

The government accelerated its easing of lockdown restrictions in early June due to better-than-expected indicators. Since then, face masks have been made mandatory in all indoor public spaces and the upsurge in cases in recent weeks has led several large cities including Paris, Marseille, Toulouse and Lille to extend the rule to crowded outdoor spaces.

In the Pyrenees, more than 3,300 new cases were recorded Thursday for the second day in a row, prompting the emergency coordinator of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, to say: “No one should have any doubts, things are not doing well ”.

“We cannot let the situation get away from us again,” he added, warning that although most of the new cases are asymptomatic, hospitals could soon be overwhelmed if the trend continues.

Spain has the highest COVID-19 incidence rate in Europe, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Its cumulative number of cases over 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants is currently 138.7, nearly triple the French rate of 46.3.

Spain’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 28,813 after 122 lost their lives in the past seven days, double the death toll from the disease the week before.

Authorities have closed nightclubs to curb the spike in new infections and have banned smoking on the streets if the social distance of at least two meters cannot be respected. Face masks are also mandatory outdoors.

Germany also recorded its highest daily number of new infections in weeks this week. The Robert Koch Institute revealed Thursday morning that 1,707 cases had been recorded in the past 24 hours.

He attributed part of the increase in the number of people returning from abroad, especially from Turkey and Croatia. The government has since had two Croatian coastal regions on its list of “high-risk” areas, meaning people arriving in Germany from those destinations will have to self-isolate for 14 days and undergo testing.

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