PARIS (Reuters) – New daily COVID-19 infections in France nearly hit an all-time high on Wednesday, and the number of people hospitalized in intensive care units for the disease increased at its fastest rate in nearly two month.
“The virus continues to spread in the country,” French health authorities said in a statement, adding that about a fifth of French departments – or administrative districts – were affected by “active circulation of the disease”.
There were 7,017 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, just below the March 31 peak of 7,578 and only the third time since the start of the epidemic that the daily tally has been above 7,000.
The seven-day moving average of new infections, which smooths out reporting irregularities, stood at a record 5,634 and remained above the 5,000 threshold for the fourth day in a row, down from a low of 272 on May 27 – two weeks after the lifting of the authorities. a two-month lockdown.
The cumulative number of cases now stands at 293,024.
The surge in infections mainly affecting young people, who are less likely to develop complications related to the disease, there was no new strain on the French hospital system, which was almost overwhelmed at the end of March.
But after steadily declining for months after peaking at 32,292 on April 14, the number of people hospitalized for the disease rose by 28 on Wednesday, to 4,632, up for a fifth consecutive day, a streak never seen in mid-April. .
And, among those new cases, the number of people in intensive care for COVID-19 increased from 22 to 446, well below the April 8 high of 7,148 but up for the sixth day in a row.
The number of people who died in France from COVID-19 infections rose from 25 to 30,686 on Wednesday, above the seven-day moving average of 20.
Report by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Edited by Mark Heinrich
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