France reported its highest number of deaths from the coronavirus since April, as President Emmanuel Macron prepared new measures to control the spread of the disease.
Deaths linked to the virus jumped from 523 to 35,541, health officials reported on Tuesday. It’s the biggest daily increase since April 22, before France’s national lockdown ended.
Macron will hold a televised speech Wednesday evening to announce new initiatives to fight the second wave of the virus, his office said. Prime Minister Jean Castex plans to present new “vital” measures to both chambers of Parliament on Thursday. France has reported four consecutive days of record cases last week, and the weekly rate of infections has been increasing for 25 days.
“Even in the most disturbing forecasts, we did not expect this acceleration and this brutality,” said Professor Gilles Pialoux, specialist in infectious diseases at Tenon hospital in Paris, on BFM TV. “We are facing the coming weeks which will be more than difficult. I hope the decisions will be drastic, because we will not get away with half measures. “
Cases in France are increasing exponentially, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said after a meeting with parliamentary leaders. In the next two weeks, the level of intensive care patients could reach the peak level of the first wave, he said. France reported a maximum of 7,148 patients with Covid-19 in intensive care on April 8.
Confirmed cases of Covid-19 increased by 33,417 on Tuesday, while the seven-day average that smooths out fluctuations rose to more than 38,000, after doubling in less than three weeks. France reported a record 52,010 new cases on Sunday.
Hospitalizations for the virus rose from 1,194 to 18,978, the largest increase since April 2, while the number of intensive care patients rose by 148 to 2,918, the highest level since early May.
Covid-19 patients now occupy 57.5% of intensive care beds in France, up nearly 3 percentage points from Monday and 42.9% a week ago, according to health authorities.