Europe

France's COVID-19 hospitalisations highest in 2 months

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A healthcare worker looks at a COVID-19 patient's medical notes in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Centre Cardiologique du Nord private hospital in Saint-Denis, near Paris, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in France, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS, Aug 23 (Reuters) - French health authorities said on Monday the number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 and those treated in intensive care units (ICU) stood at the highest levels in more than two months, as the Delta variant of the disease has put a renewed strain on the health system.

The daily new infections increased by 5,166 over 24 hours, but were down by 11.4% versus last Monday. And the seven-day moving average of daily additional cases decreased to 21,130 versus 23,783 10 days ago.

"Regarding ICU patients, the peak of this fourth wave could be reached in the days to come", Health Minister Olivier Veran told BFM, adding he remained wary of a possible back-to-school effect in a week's time.

He also said France's main independent health authority would soon recommend a third COVID-19 for those older than 65 years.

The number of people hospitalised for the virus rose by 356 over 24 hours to 11,007, the first time the figure exceeded 11,000 since June 17. Patients treated in intensive care units for the disease increased by 87 to 2,215, the highest since June 10.

The COVID-19 death toll went up by 108, at 113,496 - the 11th-highest in the world - with the seven day moving average at an almost three-months high of 109. At more than 6.6 million cases since the outbreak of the disease, France has the fifth-highest total of infection globally.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten Editing by Mark Heinrich and David Gregorio

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