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France logs almost 10,000 new cases in 24 hours, a record since the start of Covid-19 epidemic

A Covid-19 testing centre in Rennes, France.
A Covid-19 testing centre in Rennes, France. © Damien Meyer, AFP
4 min

France on Thursday registered a record of almost 10,000 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours ahead of a key meeting to decide whether to toughen the country's coronavirus measures.

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The health ministry said 9,843 new coronavirus infections had been recorded, the highest number since large scale testing began with 71 new clusters confirmed.

Officials are increasingly concerned about the rising number of infections in France, although the death toll and admissions into intensive care units remain far below the heights recorded during France's lockdown in March and April.

Over the last week, 48,542 new cases have been counted, out of over 1 million tests carried out, with the proportion of tests coming back positive rising to 5.4 percent.

Nineteen people died of Covid-19 infection, the ministry added, bringing France's toll from the pandemic to 30,813.

French ministers and health experts will meet on Friday to decide what measures are needed, with President Emmanuel Macron vowing they would give a clear idea to the public what can be expected over the next weeks.

"We need to be as transparent and clear as possible," Macron said on Thursday. "We need to be demanding and realistic but without ceding to panic."

The head of the scientific council advising the government on the pandemic, Jean-François Delfraissy, said Wednesday that the government needed to make some "tough" decisions and soon.

The government may also have to consider stricter measures on imposing lockdowns for infected people and those they have been in touch with, Delfraissy said.

There remains a danger of a "very rapid, exponential rise" in some places, he said, singling out the French Riviera and Provence.

Prime Minister Jean Castex is currently in a seven-day period of self-isolation, having spent part of the weekend with Tour de France chief Christian Prudhomme, who tested positive for Covid-19 early this week. Castex himself tested negative soon after the encounter. 

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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