ALMOST 2,000 Covidiots staged an illegal rave in France as the country recorded its highest number of Coronavirus infections to date.
France set a new daily record on Saturday with 10,561 people testing positive for the virus, the very day of the illegal rave.
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Roland Zamora, the head of the French gendarmerie, told Ouest France: “There was a maximum of 1,800 people from Saturday to Sunday night.”
With the intention of not returning home, more than 300 ravers remained at the site as of 6 p.m. Sunday evening.
The rave, which took place in the northwestern region of France, in Brittany, was evacuated early Monday morning.
Patrick Pujol, the local mayor, told a French media outlet that he was surprised the revelers managed to put everything in place so quickly and that he was disappointed the police weren’t getting tougher.
Police reportedly intervened around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, carrying out drug tests and issuing fines.
The organizers of the already banned event are now expected to face hefty fines.
Major European countries are experiencing a significant spike in infections, as daily cases in France surpassed 10,000 for the first time on Saturday and those in Spain soared to 12,183 on Friday.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has refused to announce nationwide restrictions in response to the rising number of cases – despite acknowledging a “marked worsening” in the country’s infection rate.
An increase in testing could explain the surge in cases in both countries.
Spain has suffered more than 12,000 cases of coronavirus daily – as global infections surpassed the record 300,000 in one day.
Spanish authorities have highlighted the country’s vibrant nightlife as the cause of the new outbreak of infections – and have launched a new #EstoNoEsUnJuego (#ThisIsNotAGame) campaign to encourage young people to socially distance themselves and avoid crowds.
However, the positivity rate – which corresponds to the share of tests that return a positive result – rose to 11% in Spain and 5.4% in France according to the tracker OurWorldInData.
The positivity rate is considered a good measure to measure the extent of the pandemic because it indicates the level of testing relative to the size of the epidemic.
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The World Health Organization said in May that a country is not under control of the pandemic until the positivity rate drops below 5%.
Other countries in Europe, however, have not seen a noticeable increase in infections.
Sweden, which controversially chose not to lock in March and opted for a ‘herd immunity’ strategy, has seen infections remain stable with its 7-day case rate standing at just 134 as of September 13 .
The new outbreaks on the continent are part of a global spike in cases, with the World Health Organization reporting a record one-day increase of 307,930 infections in 24 hours.