France Has Most Virus Deaths Since April as Macron Readies Curbs
(Bloomberg) -- France reported its most deaths from coronavirus since April, as President Emmanuel Macron readied new measures to control the spread of the disease.
Deaths linked to the virus jumped by 523 to 35,541, health authorities reported Tuesday. That’s the biggest daily increase since April 22, before the end of France’s nationwide lockdown.
Macron will hold a televised address Wednesday evening to announce new initiatives to tackle the second wave of the virus, his office said. Prime Minister Jean Castex plans to present “vital” new measures to both houses of parliament on Thursday. France reported four consecutive days of record cases last week, and the weekly pace of infections has been climbing for 25 days.
“Even in the most worrisome forecasts we didn’t expect this acceleration and brutality,” Professor Gilles Pialoux, an infectious-disease specialist at Tenon Hospital in Paris, said on BFM TV. “We’re facing weeks ahead that will be more than difficult. I hope the decisions will be drastic, because we will not get away with half-measures.”
Cases in France are rising exponentially, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said after a meeting with parliamentary leaders. In the next two weeks, the level of patients in intensive care may rise to the peak level of the first wave, he said. France reported a high of 7,148 Covid-19 patients in ICU on April 8.
Confirmed Covid-19 cases increased by 33,417 on Tuesday, while the seven-day average that smooths out fluctuations increased to more than 38,000, having doubled in less than three weeks. France on Sunday reported a record 52,010 new cases.
Hospitalizations for the virus increased by 1,194 to 18,978, the biggest increase since April 2, while the number of patients in intensive care increased by 148 to 2,918, the highest level since early May.
Covid-19 patients now occupy 57.5% of France’s intensive care beds, rising by almost 3 percentage points from Monday and up from 42.9% a week ago, according to health authorities.
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