The daily number of new coronavirus infections in France stayed above 20,000 on average for the fourth straight day on Tuesday while hospitalisations reached an eight-week high of 27,041, increasing fears of a third national lockdown, Trend reports citing Reuters.
President Emmanuel Macron still hopes a 6 p.m. curfew put in place 11 days ago will be enough to rein in the surge in new cases caused by the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus.
Despite calls from some doctors and medics for a new lockdown, government minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said earlier there was no need to make a decision on such a measure at this stage.
Macron will head the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and a government press conference is scheduled for Thursday.
Health authorities reported 22,086 new coronavirus infections over the previous 24 hours on Tuesday, up sharply from Monday’s 4,240 for a seven-day moving average of 20,230.
The government needs that figure to go below 5,000 to regard the pandemic as being fully under control.
The number of people being treated in intensive-care units for COVID-19 was also up, at 3,081, staying above 3,000 for the second day running. A drop below 3,000 led the government to relax the second lockdown on Dec. 15.
France’s cumulative total of infections stands at 3,079,943, the sixth highest in the world.