France reimposes coronavirus restrictions as infections rise

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The death toll in France of people diagnosed with COVID-19 tends to rise for the first time since the country’s lockdown ended, the public health agency said on Friday, warning that all indicators of coronavirus were now worsening .While a recent outbreak of infections has mainly affected young people, infections are also increasing rapidly in people over 75.

Admissions to hospitals and intensive care units are also on the rise, the health agency added.

“For the first time since the lockdown (March-May) was lifted, we are seeing an increase in deaths from COVID-19,” the agency said in its weekly update, saying 265 people had died from the virus this week against 129 the last.

“The intensification of the spread of the virus among the elderly raises fears of continued hospitalizations and deaths in the weeks to come,” he warned.

The number of new infections fell slightly – by 8% percent – from the previous week. But the agency warned that it was likely an “underestimate” of infections due to saturation of testing capacity in some areas.

There is growing concern in France about the difficulty of obtaining a coronavirus test – particularly in the Paris region – due to demand. Prime Minister Jean Castex admitted last week that the country must do better.

“Not being able to test people (who might need to quarantine) … may have an impact on controlling the outbreak,” said Daniel Levy-Bruhl, head of the respiratory infections unit at the agency. .

Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday that France was preparing tighter restrictions in several cities to curb an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases after daily infections exceeded 10,000 twice last week.

The Riviera city of Nice, still basking at the end of the Mediterranean summer, announced restrictions on Friday including a maximum of 10 people allowed to congregate in its parks and on its beaches.

It will be prohibited to buy or consume alcohol in public in the city after 8 p.m., while bars will only be open until 12:30 p.m.

According to the latest figures, the pandemic has claimed the lives of 31,095 people in France.

Despite the alarming figures, Castex last week avoided announcing new nationwide restrictions, saying the French should exercise caution and “manage to live with this virus”.

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