PARIS (Reuters) – The French Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported 2,238 new confirmed coronavirus infections, less than recent daily highs but still at levels last seen during the March-May lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the disease.
As the number of reported cases typically drops sharply on Monday due to a lag in weekend test results, the ministry reported just 493 new cases, after more than 3,000 each on Sunday and Saturday and more than 2,500 per day from Wednesday to last Friday.
The seven-day moving average of the case tally, which smooths out daily reporting irregularities, is now above 2,000 for five consecutive days, a level that was last seen around mid-April.
Following a sharp rise in new infections, the French government announced on Tuesday that it would make the wearing of a mask compulsory in all workplaces from September 1.
Despite the rise in infections, the number of people hospitalized again fell from 102 to a new low of 4,823 and the number of people in intensive care slipped from four to 380, reflecting a preponderance of young people among the new cases who are over. likely to be asymptomatic or not become seriously ill.
Both figures had followed an uninterrupted downward trend since the peak of the pandemic in the first half of April, but that downward trend has slowed down in the past two weeks.
The number of people in intensive care is now back to the levels seen in late July, after dropping to 367 last week.
The death toll rose from 22 to 30,451, after an increase of 19 on Monday and just 1 on Sunday.
Report by Geert De Clercq; Edited by Mark Heinrich
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