Coronavirus live news: France records highest death toll since 15 April; Italian hospitals fear 'tsunami'

France’s daily Covid-19 death toll rose by 854 on Tuesday, an increase unseen since 15 April, while the number of people hospitalised for the disease went up by more than a 1,000 for the fifth time in nine days.

And if the number of new infections, at 36,330, was sharply down versus Monday’s all-time high of 52,518, the seven-day moving average of additional cases, which evens out reporting irregularities, reached a record for a second day in a row, at 43,438.

France reinstated a one-month national lockdown on Friday to try and contain the resurgence of the pandemic but it generally takes two weeks for restrictive measures to have some effect.

Authorities could nonetheless reimpose a night curfew on Paris and possibly the surrounding region in the coming days amid frustration that too many people are ignoring lockdown rules.

The cumulative number of cases now totals 1,502,763, the fifth-highest in the world, and the death toll stands at 38,289, the seventh-highest globally.

The sharp rise of the daily death toll is in part due to the fact the nursing homes fatalities are taken in account twice a week, on Tuesdays and on Fridays.

The number of hospitalisations is now at 26,265, a figure multiplied by almost six since an August 29 low of 4,530 and getting closer to the 14 April peak of 32,292.

France’s first lockdown, imposed between 17 March and 11 May, had been decided to prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed.

The number of people in intensive care units increased by 148, to 3,878, a six-month high but still some way from the 8 April peak of 7,148.


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