An increase in coronavirus cases in hotspots around the world has warned health experts that restrictions must be strictly followed in order to avoid a return to national lockdowns.
In France, health officials have reported its biggest daily rise in infections since the pandemic began in mid-February.
A total of 10,561 new COVID-19 infections were recorded on Saturday, marking the first time the country has surpassed 10,000 new cases in a single day.
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“After the joy of reunion this summer, it is time to be careful in the private world,” wrote a group of doctors on Sunday in Le Journal de Dimanche. “The smaller a room, the more people it contains, the less ventilated it is, the more you increase the risks.”
The French government is seeking to avoid a repeat of a strict national lockdown.
Saturday’s figures reported 2,432 people were hospitalized, including 417 in intensive care. Another 17 people have died from the virus, bringing the death toll in France to 30,903. The country is the second hardest hit in Western Europe, with more than 400,000 confirmed infections.
The death toll in France is the seventh in the world.
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In the UK, a government adviser told Sky News countries face another “near-term” national lockdown unless people comply with new COVID-19 restrictions.
Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, said on Sunday that the public “must act quickly” to stop the spread of the virus.
“I think everyone agrees that we really need to act really fast now to keep this from expanding exponentially, and… we need to act fast because it’s so much harder to get a handle on this kind of. things if you delay even a few days, ”he said. It’s going to be potentially very dangerous now at this particular time. ”
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Elsewhere, COVID-19 infections continue to rise, notably in India, where infections are increasing faster than anywhere else in the world.
The country’s health department reported a single-day spike of 94,372 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 4.75 million – behind the United States alone.
Indian health officials have also reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 78,586. The country now tests more than a million people every day, officials said.
Despite the spikes reported around the world, there are some nuggets of positive news.
In South Korea, authorities plan to ease strict social distancing rules in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, due to the drop in the number of infections.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said the greater Seoul area recorded 80 to 110 new cases every day last week, up from 110 to 190 the week before.
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Meanwhile, domestic air travel to Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic, has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city suffered a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to cope with a tidal wave of cases that required rapid construction of field hospitals.
Since the reopening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and the number of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, have both fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. .
Elsewhere, Antarctica is still free of COVID-19. Nearly 1,000 scientists have wintered on the ice and are discovering the sun for the first time in months. Now the task is to make sure that incoming colleagues do not bring the virus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.