World News

France sees record number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations spike

Medical staff members move a patient from a plane during a transfer operation of people suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Vannes Airport, France November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s reported a record 52,518 new COVID-19 on Monday and the number of people hospitalised with the disease rose by more than a 1,000 for the fourth time in eight days, as the pandemic showing no signs of abating despite a new lockdown.

The timing of the latest daily record could be seen as particularly worrisome as Mondays have, until now, seen a dip in new cases reported due to fewer tests being carried out on a Sunday.

The cumulative number of cases now totals 1,466,433 in France, the fifth-highest total in the world behind the United States, India, Brasil and Russia.

As in other big European countries grappling with a resurgence of the disease, the French government ordered a four-week second national lockdown on Friday, as earlier curfew measures failed to have an impact.

Experts say restrictive moves to contain the disease generally take two weeks to start showing an effect.

During France’s first lockdown, from March 17 to May 11, COVID-19 hospitalisations kept increasing until April 14, reaching an all-time high of 32,292.

At 25,784, a total that has more than doubled in 12 days, the current number of hospitalisations, at a four-months high, is rapidly closing in on that record.

The number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) has increased by 152, to 3,730, which is also a fourth-month high.

The COVID-19 death toll rose by 416 to 37,435, compared with an increase of 231 on Sunday and a months-high seven-day moving average of 345.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Alex Richardson