France Covid-19 cases “growing fastest among young people” amid second wave fears

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                Les autorités sanitaires françaises ont averti jeudi que les nouveaux cas de coronavirus augmentaient le plus rapidement chez les jeunes, alors que le nombre d'infections confirmées par jour continuait d'augmenter.
            

En France métropolitaine, le rythme de croissance des cas au cours de la semaine du 3 au 9 août a été le plus rapide chez les personnes âgées de 15 à 44 ans, a déclaré la DGS Santé publique du ministère de la Santé, qualifiant de "situation préoccupante".

A total of 2,669 tests have come back positive in the past 24 hours, he added, indicating “steady growth” in new cases daily.

The figure was higher than Wednesday’s 2,524, which was itself the highest since May.

Among the new infections, there were 50 gendarmes based in Tarbes, in southwestern France, out of a group of 82 who had just returned from a deployment in Polynesia, the Hautes-Pyrénées department prefecture said.

Richard Peabody, an epidemiologist leading the high-risk pathogens team at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe, warned that more lax adherence to infection control measures resulted in a increasing number of cases across the continent.

“If you take … the pressure off the virus, it will come back,” he said, calling on European governments to be aware of the lessons learned in the early months of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Jean Castex hit the same tone on Tuesday, warning that Covid-19 could get out of hand if people don’t take precautions: “If we don’t act collectively, we put ourselves at increased risk of the epidemic rebounding . becomes difficult to control, ”he said during a visit to an intensive care unit in the south of France.

Face masks became mandatory Monday in major tourist spots in Paris as authorities try to reduce the number of new infections. The order covers the busy outdoor spaces of the French capital, including the banks of the Seine and the iconic Montmartre district in the far north of Paris – although other renowned tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées are not listed. Anyone over 11 years old is liable to a fine of € 135 if taken without a mask where it is needed.

The latest rise in Covid-19 cases has been the most marked in Paris, but some other cities like Nice, Toulouse, Biarritz, Marseille and Lille have already ordered people to wear masks outside. Several coastal towns popular with tourists – including Le Touquet in the Calais region, Saint-Malo on the north coast of Brittany and La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast – have done the same.

To date, nearly 30,400 people have died from the coronavirus in France – 17 in the past 24 hours – and 374 are currently in intensive care.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

            

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