France reports promising slowdown in new Coronavirus cases

A doctor, wearing a protective mask and a protective suit, works in a pulmonology unit at the hospital in Vannes where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated, France

French health authorities have reported 8,505 new Coronavirus cases in the past one day, a sharp fall from the 16000+ infections registered a couple of days ago.

According to the authorities, the number of news cases are usually lower on Mondays because tests are fewer or data is not fully collected the previous day.

On October 10, France recorded 26,896 new cases, setting a new all-time high.

Currently, the country’s caseload stands at 743,479, with a total of 32,825 fatalities.

The number of patients who are receiving treatment in hospital surged to 8,671, up from 8,252 on Sunday.

Early Monday, two more cities in southern France, Toulouse and Montpellier, joined the list of maximum alert zones, which includes capital Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne and Guadeloupe, an overseas region.

In those zones, where the incidence rate exceeds 250 people per 100,000 inhabitants and over 30 per cent of beds in intensive care units are occupied with Covid-19 patients, the authorities have already announced additional restrictive rules.

That includes closure of bars, pools and gyms, tougher health protocol in restaurants, cinemas and theatres.

Attendance to public events is cut from 5,000 to 1,000 and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited in public spaces such as beaches and parks.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Jean Castex warned that the country was witnessing “a strong second wave”, saying that “there can no longer be any relaxation” to contain the pandemic.

“Nothing is excluded,” he said, adding further restrictions may be decided next two weeks “if health indicators deteriorate a lot and resuscitation beds are occupied even more than expected”.

President Emmanuel Macron is set to address the nation on the Covid-19 situation on Wednesday evening.

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