France’s R number has dropped to less than 1 but the number of people in hospital has reached a new high – with the prime minister saying someone gets in every 30 seconds.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said it would be “irresponsible” to ease the country’s second strict lockdown despite the R-number drop.
The R number (reproducibility) records the spread of the disease – if it is higher than 1 then the epidemic is growing.
“The gains (that we’re seeing) are fragile,” he said.
There are now 32,638 people in hospital, up by 737 on Wednesday, and nearly 350 above the peak in the first wave.
France also reported another 33,172 daily infections on Thursday – very close to … The highest number ever in the UK.
However, it is much lower Record 86852 Registered in France on Saturday.
“The pressure on our hospitals has increased tremendously,” said Mr. Castex, adding that somewhere in France someone has Coronavirus disease He is hospitalized every 30 seconds.
He gave some hope when he suggested that the rules could be relaxed from early December – when lockdown approaches – if the number of cases drops.
Castex said stores could first be allowed to open, but bars and restaurants would have to wait longer.
However, a significant reduction may be required if that is to happen.
French President Emmanuel Macron said at the start of the lockdown that they would have to go down to 5,000 a day in order to relax the rules.
Asked whether people should buy tickets before Christmas, Mr. Castex said it was “too early to say” and also warned that he would not hesitate to impose tougher measures if the transmission escalated again.
France’s second lockdown is set to last for a month, until December 1.
It is tougher than the UK, where people are only allowed, for example, to leave the house for an hour’s exercise a day within a 1 km (0.6 mile) range.
Each person must carry a document justifying their trip, which can be verified by the police.
France’s COVID-related death toll is over 42,000 – nearly 8,000 fewer than the UK – but it has the highest cumulative cases in Europe at 1.86 million.
Elsewhere in Europe
- Ireland’s deputy prime minister said he is confident the country may throw off some of its strict rules on schedule next month after the sharp drop in infection rates.
- In Sweden, the country’s chief epidemiologist said immunity may have been lower than he thought, as the country – which has taken a relaxed approach to COVID restrictions – has seen its daily death rate soar to its highest in months.
- Portugal has extended its night curfew and weekend lockdown – already in effect in more than 100 municipalities – to 77 other regions.
- Catalonia restaurant bars and shopping malls will remain closed for at least another ten days.
- A potential vaccine under development in Denmark was effective in early animal trials against mutagenesis The COVID strain of minkAccording to a scientist working on the project.