France reported 30,303 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours on Wednesday, increasing to over 30,000 for the first time in two weeks.
The number of people treated in intensive care units for the disease was unchanged at 3918, which stopped a five-day increase but remained at a maximum level of three and a half months.
Health Minister Olivier Veran will give his weekly COVID information on Thursday, but no major announcements are expected, although some health experts say the hospital system in the Paris region is close to breaking point.
Hospital patients in the northern Hauts-de-France region would be transferred to facilities in Belgium from Wednesday, local health officials said. The city of Dunkirk and its surroundings have been hit particularly hard by the latest wave of pandemics in France.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal confirmed on Wednesday that “a certain number of medical evacuations” would take place “in the next few days” to free hospitals in the most affected regions.
New cases reach the highest level in two weeks
The seven-day moving average of new cases, which offsets the daily reporting of irregularities, amounted to 21,836, over 21,000 for the 14th time in 15 days.
The government says that the average of new cases must be below 5,000 for the pandemic to be considered under control.
Since the outbreak more than a year ago, France has reported 3,963 million cases, the sixth highest in the world.
There were 264 new deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 89565, the seventh highest in the world, compared with a seven-day moving average of 289.
The Ministry of Health also reported on Wednesday that 4.32 million people, or 6.5% of the adult population, had received a first coronavirus vaccine and 2.10 million had received a second shot, for a total of 6.425 million injections.
The government aims to vaccinate 10 million people in mid-April – less than one-sixth of the total population – 20 million in mid-May and 30 million in the summer.
( Jowharwith REUTERS and AFP)