Spread of Covid Remains Worrying in Paris, Health Minister Says

One year after Europe first locked down, French authorities are fighting to avoid imposing new restrictions on Paris to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“The pandemic is particularly worrying in the Paris region,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran told a weekly briefing in Paris on Thursday. The virus spreading at a pace of 350 cases per 100,000 inhabitants weekly, he said.

To manage hospital capacity in Paris, authorities are ready to cancel surgeries and transfer patients to other regions, the minister said during the conference.

The government has stuck to a national curfew it introduced three months ago and more recent targeted weekend lockdowns without resorting to more economically damaging measures.

Meantime, it’s trying to speed up vaccinations after getting off to a slow start. In the last 24 hours, France administered 286,000 vaccinations, bringing the total to 6.7 million; 2.2 million people have had a second injection. In contrast, 22.8 million people have had a first jab in the U.K. and 1.25 million, a second.

Coronavirus cases have exceeded 30,000 a day in France, around four times more than in the U.K. France record 27,166 cases and 265 Covid-19-linked deaths on Thursday.

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