Covid-19: France records new all-time high of nearly 19,000 cases in 24 hours

A health worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, works at a testing site for the coronavirus disease in Nantes, France, October 6, 2020.
A health worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, works at a testing site for the coronavirus disease in Nantes, France, October 6, 2020. © Stephane Mahe, REUTERS

French health authorities reported 18,746 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over 24 hours on Wednesday, a new all-time daily high, and almost double Tuesday's tally of 10,489.

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The number of people in France who have died from Covid-19 infections was up by 80, at 32,445, and the cumulative number of cases now totals 653,509.

French President Emmanuel Macron responded to the record cases saying there would be new restrictions put in place to curb the virus's spread.

"In places where the disease is circulating too quickly ... there will be new restrictions," Macron said during an interview aired on France's two main television channels.

On Tuesday, the proportion of intensive care unit beds in the Paris region occupied by Covid-19 patients reached 40 percent.

French authorities put Paris and three neighbouring areas on the top Covid-19 alert level on Tuesday – with the city’s iconic bars and cafés shut down for two weeks to try to stem the virus, although restaurants have been allowed to remain open. 

French Health Minister Olivier Véran, along with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, will hold a Covid-19 press conference on Thursday at 16:00 GMT.

More than 7,500 patients were currently being treated in hospital for the coronavirus, marking a three-month high and an increase of more than 65 percent from a low point of 4,530 reached on August 29.

Fears of the hospital system being overwhelmed led the government to impose one of Europe's strictest lockdowns between March 17 and May 11.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP and AP)

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