COVID cases in France continue to rise as new restrictions loom

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A healthcare worker takes a swab sample from a person at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center in Paris, France, October 13, 2020. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – New infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 all increased in France on Tuesday as the country braced for additional restrictions that President Emmanuel Macron could unveil in a nationwide televised address on Wednesday.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Jean Castex refused to rule out local lockdowns while French media reported that curfews at COVID hotspots were under consideration.

The five largest cities in France – Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and Lille – are among the nine metropolises already on high alert, meaning bars and gyms are closed and restaurants are operating under strict sanitary conditions. .

French health authorities have reported 12,993 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, up from 8,505 on Monday, but down from the record 26,896 on Saturday and 16,101 on Sunday.

But the seven-day moving average of new infections, which is the average of weekly data reporting irregularities, was above the record high of 17,000 for the second day in a row, at 17,816.

The cumulative number of cases now stands at 756,472.

The number of people who have died in France from COVID-19 infections has risen from 117 to 32,942, up from 95 on Monday and a seven-day moving average of 82, a level not seen since May.

The number of people hospitalized with respiratory illness increased by 257 to 8,949, a high after June 25. That’s still less than a third of the high of 32292 reached on April 14, but almost twice as high as the 4530 on August 29.

France has imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe to limit the contagion of the coronavirus between March 17 and May 11 to avoid overwhelming the hospital system.

Report by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Edited by Mark Heinrich

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