Latest global news from October 13

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Medical staff work on October 12 at a sports arena, which has been converted into a screening center to test people for Covid-19, in Lyon, France. Jean-Philippe Kziazek / AFP / Getty Images

The Covid positivity rate in France – the percentage of tests that come back positive – continues to increase and now reaches 12.8%, the country’s health authorities announced on Monday evening.

The rate, a key indicator of how fast the virus is spreading, is now more than double what it was a month ago – 5.4% on September 12.

On Monday evening, 1,539 Covid patients were in intensive care in French hospitals. The last time the country admitted more than 1,500 Covid patients to the ICU was on May 27, when the total reached 1,501.

Paris: The capital is doing less well than the rest of the country, with an incidence rate of 413.2 cases per 100,000 in the city against a national average of 166, according to the health authority of the Paris region.

More than 40% of ICU beds in the Paris region are occupied by Covid patients, well above the 30% threshold used to decide when areas or cities should be placed in the “maximum alert” category.

The Defense Council – a meeting of key ministers chaired by President Emmanuel Macron – is due to meet on Tuesday evening to discuss the next steps to be taken to slow the spread of the virus.

Government ministers reaffirmed that all measures should be considered as the circulation of the virus continues to increase, including curfews and localized lockdowns.

No option can be ruled out, given the situation we are seeing in hospitals, ”French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Monday in an interview with CNN affiliate BFM-TV on Monday.

President Macron is expected to give a prime-time television interview on Wednesday evening local time.

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