New cases of COVID-19 in France slow but deaths rise sharply

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PARIS (Reuters) – France on Monday reported a massive increase in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, while also becoming the eighth country in the world to report more than 900,000 cases since the start of the epidemic.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a bar, ahead of the late night curfew due to restrictions against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lille, France October 16, 2020 . REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol

Daily data showed that the partial curfew imposed on nine major cities, including Paris, since Saturday, has yet to yield results.

Experts say it takes an average of two weeks for containment measures to demonstrate their effectiveness. During the nation’s national lockdown put in place between March 17 and May 11, hospitalizations continued to increase until April 14.

Health officials have reported 13,243 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, down sharply from Saturday’s record of 32,427 and Sunday’s 29,837.

But Monday’s figure tends to go down as there are fewer tests being done on Sunday. The seven-day moving average of new infections, which is the weekly average of irregularities in data reporting, sits above the record high of 23,000 for the second consecutive time.

The cumulative number of cases now stands at 910,277.

The number of people hospitalized rose by 743, the largest increase since April 6, to 11,661. This is still well below the mid-April high of 32,292, but well above the low of the 29th. August of 4530.

The number of patients treated in intensive care units (ICUs) increased by 151 to exceed 2,000 for the first time since May 17.

The number of people who died in France from COVID-19 infections increased by 146 to 33,623, up from 85 on Sunday and a seven-day moving average of 114.

This last figure is above the threshold of 100 for the third consecutive day, a sequence unseen since May.

Report by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese and Alex Richardson

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