France records over 10,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours for first time

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A health worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient at a testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, September 9, 2020.

A health worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient at a testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, September 9, 2020. REUTERS – GONZALO FUENTESFrench health authorities on Saturday reported 10,561 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, a new daily record as the number topped 10,000 for the first time. Saturday’s record figure came after French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned on Friday that there has been a “clear worsening” in France of the spread of Covid-19, which has “not lowered in intensity” and “will still be with us for some months”.A previous record of 9,843 new infections had been reported on Thursday.

Despite this resurgence in cases, Castex did not announce any major new restrictions, saying France’s aim is to “avoid a general lockdown” and succeed in living with the virus through social distancing, mask-wearing and ramped-up testing.

Castex said his government would implement fast-tracked Covid-19 testing for priority cases and provide local authorities with the power to make some businesses reduce opening hours.

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There is a “clear worsening” in France of the spread of Covid-19, which has “not lowered in intensity” and “will still be with us for some months”, Castex said in a televised statement in Paris.

But he did not announce any major new restrictions, saying France’s aim is to “avoid a general lockdown” and succeed in living with the virus through social distancing, mask-wearing and ramped-up testing.

Castex said his government would implement fast-tracked Covid-19 testing for priority cases and provide local authorities with the power to make some businesses reduce opening hours.

The country’s Defence Council met on Friday to discuss new measures to stem the spread of the virus, while experts say that tough measures will have to be taken to stem the recrudescence in cases.

Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific panel counselling the French government on coronavirus matters, said on Wednesday that the government would be “obliged to take a certain number of difficult decisions… in the next eight to 10 days at most”.

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AFP and REUTERS

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