France has recorded nearly 9,000 new cases of COVID-19, setting a record since the start of the pandemic, while more people have also been hospitalized due to the disease.
Health officials said in a statement on Friday that there had been 8,975 new confirmed cases – nearly 1,500 more than the previous daily peak of March 31 of 7,578 when France was in one of the most stringent coronavirus lockdowns from Europe.
The surge in parts of France, which is in part due to increased testing, has forced a dozen schools to close just days after the start of the new school year.
The seven-day moving average of new infections, which smooths out reporting irregularities, stood at an eighth consecutive record of 6,011 from a low of 272 on May 27, two weeks after authorities lifted the two-month lockdown .
The cumulative number of cases now stands at 309,156.
With the increase in infections mainly affecting young people, who are less likely to develop complications, French hospitals have so far been under less strain, almost overwhelmed at the end of March.
But after falling steadily for months after peaking at 32,292 on April 14, the number of people hospitalized rose 28 on Friday to 4,671, up for a sixth consecutive day.
Of those, the number of people in intensive care units for COVID-19 increased by nine to 473, well below the April 8 record of 7,148 but rising for an eighth consecutive day.
The number of people in France who are believed to have died from COVID-19 was 30,686, down 20 from 24 hours earlier, as authorities revised the number of deaths in nursing homes.
Australian Associated Press