France reports summit after 4,897 new cases of COVID-19 were locked

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PARIS: France reported on Sunday August 23 nearly 4,900 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, its highest figure since May, the Minister of Health having acknowledged that there were “risks” in the spike in infection levels.

French health authorities said in a statement that 4,897 new positive tests were recorded on Sunday, up sharply from Saturday’s figure of 3,602.

The figure is the highest in France since it emerged in May from the two-month lockdown to fight the virus that had so far succeeded in crushing infection rates.

“We are in a situation where there are risks,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche as the French prepare to return to work after the summer vacation.

However, he stressed that the situation was “not the same as in February” when the virus began to spread in France, with COVID-19 now circulating four times more among those under 40 than among those over. 65 years.

Testing has now been stepped up so that France can undertake 700,000 tests per week, he added.

But he added the risk was that young people could pass the virus on to older people, who are much more at risk of developing serious complications or dying.

He lamented that most infections occur in “festive situations” frequented by young people where social distancing is not respected.

Three percent of tests were now positive, a one percent increase at the start of the summer. An infected person now transmits it to 1.3-1.4 other people on average, he added.

But Veran said a new national lockdown was “not on the agenda” and unlike spring “we have more knowledge and resources at our disposal” with targeted local measures being the best course of action. .

There are now 4,709 people hospitalized in France with a coronavirus infection while 383 are in intensive care, health authorities said.

Another death was recorded on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths of people suffering from COVID-19 in France to 30,513, he said.

Veran said he was aware of speculation that the virus was now less deadly because it had mutated, but said the argument, “alas”, had no scientific basis.

“The spreading COVID is the same one that killed 30,000 French people. Only the profile of the patients has changed, they are younger and have fewer symptoms, ”he said.

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