PARIS (Reuters) – The French Ministry of Health reported 4,982 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, up from 3,082 recorded on Monday but below the highs of nearly 7,400 seen last week.
The number of people who have died from COVID-19 infections has increased from 26 to 30,661 in total, and the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases now stands at 286,007.
Ministry data showed that the increase in infections was due not only to more tests being done, but also to a higher rate of positive tests, now at 4.3%, from 3% at mid- August and 1.5% at the end of July.
With most of the new infections in young people, who usually have few or no symptoms, the surge in infections has so far not led to further major pressure on the French hospital system.
But on Tuesday, the high infection rate began to impact the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus, a figure that had fallen almost continuously in recent months to a low of 4,530 on Saturday.
It rose from 22 to 4,604 on Tuesday, a third consecutive daily increase. The number of people in intensive care units also increased from 15 to 424, the fifth consecutive increase.
The number of people in intensive care is now back to its late July level, although still well below the high of 7,148 seen on April 8.
More than 12 million French children returned to school on Tuesday after being absent from classes for more than five months due to the lockdown and summer vacation.
Children over 11 must wear a mask in class. People returning to work after long months of working from home should also wear a mask in their workplace, both in offices and in factories, at all times.
Report by Geert De Clercq; Edited by Mark Heinrich
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