COVID-19 deaths in France increase by nearly 1,000

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FILE PHOTO: Medical staff move patient from plane during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transfer operation, at Vannes airport, France November 2, 2020 . REUTERS / Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s daily COVID-19 toll climbed by 854 on Tuesday, an unprecedented increase since April 15, as the number of people hospitalized with the disease increased by more than 1,000 for the fifth time in nine days .

And while the number of new infections, at 36,330, was down sharply from Monday’s all-time high of 52,518, the seven-day moving average of additional cases, which equates reporting irregularities, hit a record for a second day in a row, at 43.438.

France reinstated a one-month national lockdown on Friday in an attempt to contain the resurgence of the pandemic, but it typically takes two weeks for restrictive measures to have some effect.

Authorities could nonetheless reimpose a nighttime curfew in Paris and possibly the surrounding region in the coming days, as too many people ignore lockdown rules.

The cumulative number of cases now stands at 1,502,763, the fifth highest in the world, and the death toll stands at 38,289, the seventh in the world.

The sharp increase in the daily death toll is in part due to the fact that deaths in nursing homes are counted twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The number of hospitalizations is now 26,265, a figure almost six-fold from the August 29 low of 4,530 and approaching the April 14 high of 32,292.

The first French lockout, imposed between March 17 and May 11, was decided to prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed.

The number of people in intensive care units rose by 148 to 3,878, a six-month high, but still a short distance from the April 8 high of 7,148.

Report by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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