France Covid-19 latest: New cases at record 30,000 threshold

The level of positivity is also up, and pressure is rising in hospitals as intensive care admissions increase 

16 October 2020
People in the street wearing face masks. France Covid-19 latest: New cases at record 30,000 thresholdThe World Health Organisation described the situation in Europe as "very worrying" as new restrictions are set to come into force in France
By Hannah Thompson

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours has passed the 30,000 threshold in France for this first time, as the World Health Organisation calls the situation in Europe “very worrying”.

Figures from health body Santé publique France (SPF) for Thursday October 15 show that there were 30,621 new cases in the previous 24 hours. This is a record since the launch of wide scale testing, SPF said.

Reaching the 30,000 threshold also marks a sharp increase in cases in recent days, as the 20,000 threshold was only reached on October 9.

Read more: Coronavirus: France records 23,000 cases in last 24 hours

The level of positivity of tests (the proportion of positive tests of the total people tested) is also continuing to rise, and is now at 12.6% (compared to 12.2% on Wednesday).

On Thursday 15, there were 88 new deaths reported, slightly fewer than the 104 from the day before.

The most recent figures also show that the number of patients being admitted to intensive care is largely on the rise, with 171 on Monday, 226 on Tuesday, 193 on Wednesday, and 219 on Thursday. Intensive care figures are used as a key indicator of the extent of pressure on hospitals from the pandemic.

The highest number of daily intensive care admissions recorded during the pandemic was 771, on April 1.

Currently, there are 1,741 people in intensive care due to Covid-19-related causes in total in France. Health minister Olivier Véran has said that France has 5,800 intensive care beds available.

The European branch of the World Health Organisation this week said that the development of the pandemic in Europe was “very worrying”. It said that mortality levels “four to five times’ higher than those seen in April” could be here “by January” if restrictions were “eased”.

In light of this, the European Commission of Health has called on the member states to “do what is necessary” to “avoid a general lockdown”.

The record figures come as more severe restrictions are imposed in major urban areas in France, with a curfew announced by President Emmanuel Macron - and further details of the measures explained yesterday by Prime Minister Jean Castex - set to come into force this Saturday (October 17).

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