France set a new record of daily COVID-19 infections on Thursday, the fourth in eight days, while the number of people hospitalised for the disease went above 6 000 for the first time in more than two months.
Those figures are published the day after the government announced extra restrictive measures, mainly in big cities and especially in Marseille, to contain the virus.
On their website, French health authorities reported 16 096 new confirmed coronavirus cases, blowing away the previous record of 13 498 and bringing the cumulative total to 497 237, the second-highest in Western Europe behind Spain.
The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 infections stood at 31 511, up by 52. That figure is lower than the seven-day moving average of 59 but more than four times higher than the daily average of 12 seen in August.
Health authorities said there were 6 031 patients hospitalised for COVID-19 as of Thursday, a tally still more than five times lower than the 32,292 peak reached on April 14 but up by 33% since an August 29 low of 4 530.
And there are now 1 043 patients in intensive care units, levels unseen since June 8.
France’s Prime Minister warned that if the government does not act to prevent the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, there could be a repeat of the situation at the peak of the crisis in March.
“It’s a race against time,” Jean Castex said on France 2 television. “The public must be attentive and prudent. If we don’t act we could find ourselves in a situation similar to spring,”