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France's Covid-19 cases top 1mn as daily tally hits new high

Saturday - October 24, 2020 1:06 pm , Category : HEALTH
Paris, Oct 24 (IANS) After Spain, France has become the second country in Europe to pass the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases, after new single-day infections surged by over 40,000 for a second day in a row, according to health authorities.
In the past 24 hours, the country confirmd 42,032 new cases on Friday, beating Thursday's record of 41,661, Xinhua news agency reported.
The overall caseload currently stands at 1,084,659.
The death toll increased to 34,508, representing a one-day spike of 298, higher than 162 on Thursday.
The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients reached 15,008, up by 976 in one day, exceeding the 15,000 threshold for the first time since May 25.
To date, 2,073 clusters are under investigation, of which 477 are in nursing homes. This represents 184 additional outbreaks in 24 hours.
The "grave" resurgence of the epidemic has forced the government to extend curfews, imposed on Paris and eight other major cities, to 38 other departments.
The restrictive measure now involves 46 million residents who have been asked to stay home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Friday midnight.
Since the end of September when infection cases soared up, France had already put in place extra measures in regions on maximum alert, including the closure of bars, pools and gyms.
Entertainment facilities including circus, dance clubs, trade shows are banned.
All outdoor facilities, such as stadiums, can open for no more than 1,000 people.
"By the middle of next week, we will have a clearer picture of the impact of the measures we have taken... And we will have decisions to make in the next few weeks to adjust things," President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.
It was too early to say if France is heading towards new nationwide confinement or local lockdown, he added.
Based on the scientists' projections, Macron told reporters that French people have to live with the Covid-19 at least until next summer.
"The question is how to live with the virus during this time? In the phase we are in, we have no other choice.
"That is to say to reduce our social life to the maximum, limit contacts and break its circulation," he added.

--IANS ksk/