PARIS (Reuters) – France reported a marked slowing in new daily COVID-19 cases on Monday but the number of people hospitalised for the disease shot up by more than 300 for the first time since Apr. 12, when the country was in the middle of a lockdown.
Among the 7,294 patients hospitalised, more than 1,400 were treated in intensive care units (ICUs) – the highest number since May 28.
Paris is to be placed on maximum COVID-19 alert, meaning bars will be forced to close for two weeks from Tuesday, partly because of the sharp rise in the number of people in ICUs.
French health authorities reported 5,084 new daily COVID-19 infections, far lower than Saturday’s record of 16,972 and Sunday’s 12,565.
The Monday figure typically tends to dip as there are fewer tests conducted on Sundays.
The seven-day moving average of new infections, which smoothes out reporting irregularities, stood at 11,662, versus a low of 272 on May 27, two weeks after the country ended its two-month lockdown.
The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 rose by 69 to 32,299, versus 32 on Sunday. The cumulative number of cases totals 624,274.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Pravin Char)