One Parisian infected with COVID-19 every 30 seconds: health minister

FILE PHOTO: French Health Minister Olivier Veran removes his mask before delivering a speech during a news conference announcing the new lockdown measures in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Paris, France October 29, 2020. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - One Parisian is getting infected with COVID-19 every 30 seconds, while every 15 minutes there is a Parisian arriving in hospital as a result of the disease, health minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

Veran made the comments to RTL Radio in response to demands by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to open up small bookshops and other smaller stores to try to keep commerce and social activity ticking over despite a new lockdown in France.

Veran said any such move was too risky given the high COVID-19 infection rates in the French capital.

“She cannot ignore the fact that every 15 minutes, in the hospitals of Paris, there is someone ill who has been hospitalised with COVID. She cannot ignore the fact that every 30 seconds, there is a Parisian who has been contaminated,” said Veran.

“We want to save the Parisians and the French people and we do that with determination and consistency,” he added.

France reported a record 52,518 new COVID-19 on Monday, while the country’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 416 to 37,435.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens