COVID-19 continues to beat France

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PARIS French health officials reported 20,468 new cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, a spike from Monday.

The number of infections since the start of the pandemic is 930,745.

There were 163 new deaths with 33,885 deaths. And a total of 8,754 patients remain hospitalized including 1,493 in intensive care units.

As Paris and nine major cities and regions enter a fourth night of curfew, a tight-fitting feeling is far too palpable in the Republic.

The 9 p.m. (1900GMT) to 6 a.m. (0500GMT) nightly shutdowns of establishments imposed by the Prime Minister last week were a last-ditch effort to stem the spread of the rapidly escalating virus without imposing a new total nationwide lockdown – a rehearsal of March and April that no one would like to experience.

But France is put to the test on another front with a heinous murder last Friday.

Samuel Paty, 47, professor of history and geography at Collège Bois-d’Aulne in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, was beheaded by a Chechen refugee.

The suspect, Abdullakh Anzorov, was later shot dead by police after fleeing to a nearby town.

The horrific incident sent shockwaves across the country and prompted police crackdowns immediately after.

Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin has since launched 34 police operations and 80 investigations, as well as dozens of detentions.

His efforts have included raids on the homes of people associated with or suspected of aiding and abetting Anzorov.
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