France reports more than 20,300 additional infections

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PARIS Coronavirus infections have skyrocketed in France, with another 20,339 reported on Friday, the biggest one-day jump since the lockdown ended.

At least 62 additional deaths brought the death toll to 32,630, according to the health ministry.

Hospitalizations amount to 4,837, including 1,439 intensive care patients, up 21 since Thursday, another record since May.

The government and health officials have done everything they can to remedy a situation that appears to be spiraling out of control.

Since Tuesday, cafes and bars in Paris and Ile-de-France have been closed for two weeks, culinary establishments being required to end service before 10 p.m. (2000GMT).

Paris was added to Marseille, along with the overseas territory of Guadeloupe, at the country’s maximum alert level.

On Thursday, the Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, also added Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Étienne and Lille to the maximum alert level, from Saturday.

The same restrictions will also apply to cafes and bars in these towns.

Veran called for continued public vigilance to fight the virus.

“The health situation continues to deteriorate in France,” Veran said at a press conference. “Protect yourself, protect your family, be extremely careful.”

Globally, COVID-19 cases now number more than 36.7 million and deaths exceed 1 million in 188 countries, according to the latest figures from the United States-based Johns Hopkins University.
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