France's Covid-19 hospital admissions highest in two months

With 6.6 million cases since the start of the pandemic, France has the fifth-highest total of infections globally

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French health authorities said on Monday the number of people requiring hospital treatment for Covid-19 and those treated in intensive care units stood at the highest levels in more than two months.

Daily new infections increased by 5,166 over 24 hours, but were down by 11.4 per cent compared with last Monday, as the Delta variant of the disease puts a renewed strain on the health system.

And the seven-day moving average of daily additional cases decreased to 21,130 from 23,783 10 days ago.

“Regarding ICU patients, the peak of this fourth wave could be reached in the days to come,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

Mr Veran said he was wary of what would happen after pupils returned to school in a week.

He said France's main independent health authority would soon recommend a third Covid-19 vaccination for people older than 65 years.

The number of people in hospital with the virus rose by 356 over 24 hours to 11,007. It was the first time the figure exceeded 11,000 since June 17.

The number of patients treated in intensive care units for the disease increased by 87 to 2,215, the highest since June 10.

The Covid-19 death toll went up by 108, to 113,496, with the seven-day moving average at an almost three-month high of 109.

With more than 6.6 million cases since the outbreak of the disease, France has the fifth-highest total of infection globally.

The rising case numbers were released after France on Sunday experience a sixth successive week of protests against coronavirus restrictions.

Thousands of demonstrators in cities across the country voiced opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's new “health pass” system, which would require customers at theatres, restaurants and other venues to present their vaccination status.

Officials in other European countries have expressed concern about their stubbornly high rates of infections.

On Monday, authorities in the UK announced 31,914 new cases, raising the tally to more than 230,000 in the past week alone.

Excess deaths in England and Wales have also risen to their highest level since February, after 10,372 deaths were registered in the week ended August 13, the UK's Office for National Statistics said.

“Excess deaths” are the number of deaths above the average for the corresponding period in the non-pandemic years of 2015-19.

Meanwhile, new Covid-19 cases in Greece jumped in the past week, exceeding 4,000 on Wednesday, compared with about 2,800 in the previous week.

Updated: August 24th 2021, 12:05 PM