France has record daily COVID infections as cases increase in Europe

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FILE PHOTO: Customers are seen on the terrace of a restaurant before the nighttime curfew due to restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nice, France, October 23, 2020. REUTERS / Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – France recorded a record 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, following a record 45,422 on Saturday, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday, as a second wave cases were sweeping through Europe.

The new cases brought the total to 1,138,507, with France now edging Argentina and Spain to record the fifth most cases in the world after the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.

In the past three days, France has recorded more than 139,000 new cases, more than the 132,000 cases recorded during the two-month lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.

The health ministry said 116 people had died from coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, up from 137 on Saturday, bringing the total to 34,761.

The number of people testing positive in massive testing underway across the country has risen to 17%, from 16% on Saturday and around 7% a month ago.

Like many other European countries, including neighbors Great Britain, Spain and Italy, France has seen a second wave in recent weeks.

The head of the health authority for the Paris region, Aurélien Rousseau, told BFM television that the circulation of the virus in the region was accelerating and that the situation in French hospitals was becoming increasingly tense.

The health ministry did not report any hospital data on Sunday, but on Saturday the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus rose from 652 to 15,660 and the number of people in intensive care from 59 to 2,500, from a peak of 7,148 during lock in the spring.

Report by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Alison Williams and Nick Macfie

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