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France records more than 3,000 new Covid-19 cases for second day in a row

People stroll down Bordeaux's main shopping street Sainte-Catherine, where wearing a mask is compulsory as of August 15, 2020, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
People stroll down Bordeaux's main shopping street Sainte-Catherine, where wearing a mask is compulsory as of August 15, 2020, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. © AFP - Mehdi Fedouach

France's health ministry on Sunday reported 3,015 new coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours, the second day in a row in which new cases have surpassed the 3,000 mark.

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However, the daily count was below the 3,310 cases reported on Saturday that marked a post-lockdown high, the ministry's data showed.

A sharp rise in cases in France has led the authorities in the country's two biggest cities, Paris and Marseille, to expand zones where wearing a mask is mandatory outdoors, while the government is set to propose masks be worn in shared indoor workspaces.

But France still plans to reopen schools nationwide in two weeks, and the country's labour minister said Sunday the government is determined to avoid a new nationwide lockdown that would further hobble the economy and threaten jobs.

Elisabeth Borne, the labour minister, told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the government wants to expand mask use in workplaces.

“We must avoid new confinement at any cost,” she said.

The number of coronavirus clusters being investigated in France has increased to 263, the health ministry said in its a website update.

The number of people in hospital was up slightly at 4,860, adding to a rise recorded a day earlier, while the number of intensive care patients was unchanged at 376 after increasing the previous day, the ministry said.

France's cumulative death toll from Covid-19 for hospitals and nursing homes had risen by one to 30,410, it said.

The recent resurgence in cases has prompted Britain to impose a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from France, in a further blow to an already battered tourism industry.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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