FRANCE has recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases to date, 90,000 cases testing positive for the virus in a single day.
The country is in the throes of a second wave of the virus as the figure of 86,852 cases reported on November 7 was a record for the third day in a row.
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More than 1.7 million people in France have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic – the fourth highest figure in the world.
The country has reported more than 40,000 deaths, with some 27,600 people currently being treated in hospital, Sky News reports.
After visiting an intensive care unit in the city of Saint-Étienne, Prime Minister Jean Castex warned that the second wave has arrived here “brutally and violently”.
The country is experiencing an increase in the number of intensive care patients.
Of the 20,009 people admitted to hospital last week, around 3,000 were in intensive care units.
Patients with COVID-19 currently represent about 85% of the intensive care capacity of hospitals.
Deaths are also rising as on November 3 the country recorded a daily death toll of 854.
But that remains well below the peak of the pandemic, as as of mid-April, 1,437 deaths have been reported in 24 hours.
France is currently under a one-month national lockdown.
Stricter measures have been in place since October 30 and will remain so for five weeks.
Lockdown restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks and are due to end on December 1.
Restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses have been forced to close and people are banned from traveling between regions.
Residents can only leave their homes for essential work, exercise, food shopping or for medical reasons, but schools and workplaces will remain open.
Travel is limited to one kilometer from the houses.
People must use official passes to leave their homes, as they were supposed to when the March lockdown was imposed, Macron said when speaking to the French last month.
Cops have stepped up checks and officers have been photographed stopping cars, asking drivers to show valid permits given the ban on non-essential travel.
President Macron warned: “The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic forecasts had not anticipated.
“We are all overwhelmed by a second wave which we know will arguably be harsher and more deadly than the first. ”
Unlike the first lockdown, nursing homes across the country are allowed to stay open.
He said: “If we don’t put a brutal stop to the contamination today, our hospitals will be quickly overwhelmed.
“We will never let hundreds of thousands of our citizens die. These are not our values. “
Countries in Europe are struggling to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Germany entered a strict four-week national lockdown last week in hopes it would “save Christmas” for millions of families.
More than 22,000 cases were reported in the country as of November 6.
Italy recorded 39,809 new coronavirus infections on Saturday – the highest daily tally on record in the country.
The ministry also reported 425 deaths linked to Covid-19, up from 446 the day before.
A total of 41,063 people have now died from Covid-19 in Italy, which has recorded some 902,490 coronavirus infections since the start of its epidemic.
The northern Lombardy region, centered on Italy’s business capital Milan, remained the hardest-hit area, reporting 11,489 new cases on Saturday compared to 9,934 on Friday.
Shocking footage shows patients on ventilators receiving treatment in hallways as hospitals begin to be overwhelmed.
Filippo Anelli, the president of the Italian Order of Physicians, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday: “We fear that this second wave may not be a coastal storm, but a tsunami that could overwhelm the national health system.
In an attempt to curb the spread, the Italian government has divided the country into three zones depending on the severity of the outbreak.
Many shops have been closed in the higher risk area, such as Lombardy in Milan, where people can only leave their homes for work and health reasons.
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Even lock-free Sweden introduced tighter restrictions after the Nordic country saw cases double in two weeks.
A “rule of eight” now applies to diners in cafes and restaurants and commissioned work has been introduced in the Halland, Örebo and Jönköping regions.
On November 4, 4,497 cases of Covid-19 were reported within 24 hours in Sweden – the highest number in the country since the start of the pandemic.