Over 2,500 coronavirus cases in 24 hours in France

Figures from yesterday (August 12) show the highest number of Covid-19 cases recorded in 24 hours in France since May, as the health minister says those returning from holiday should get tested.

13 August 2020
A doctor carrying out a Covid-19 PCR test by taking a nasal swab from a patient. There have been over 2,500 coronavirus cases in 24 hours in France.An increase in the number of tests being done in France does not account for the rise in Covid-19 cases.
By Joanna York

The figures were released in a daily report from national health body la Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS) on August 12.

They show that in the past week 11,633 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in France, with over 2,543 being diagnosed in 24 hours on August 12.

The report also cautioned that 19 departments are on “moderate” vulnerability alert, with some coming close to the seuil d’alerte (alert threshold) of 50 for every 100,000 inhabitants testing positive in the past week. 

This comes as the number of tests being taken in France continues to rise (although the rise in positive tests is still outpacing the rise in testing overall). In the week of August 3-9, over 600,000 tests were done. Of these 2.2% have come back positive, confirming a rise in the circulation of the virus in France.

According to the DGS, the latest figures show a “clear deterioration” of the health situation in France. 

 

Do more tests mean more cases? 

The new results were released the day after health minister Olivier Véran answered questions from the French public about Covid-19 for news source FranceInfo

The first question the minister answered was on whether the number of cases in France was increasing simply because more people are now being tested. 

He said: “In part, yes, because we are undertaking 100,000 more tests each week compared to the week before. [This week] we have done 600,000.”

But, he warned, the figures still indicate circulation of the virus is increasing in France.

He said: “I say in part only, because the rate of positive tests is increasing: 1% of tests were coming back positive a few weeks ago, and today we have passed 2%. That can’t be explained simply by an increase in the number of tests [being done].”

Read more: Why France's coronavirus cases are increasing

Tests and social distancing 'essential' to stopping Covid-19 spread

Mr Véran stressed that testing was an important part of France’s strategy to “fight effectively against the spread of coronavirus”. He advised all French residents who had been on holiday, especially in areas where the virus is circulating, to get tested once they had returned home.

The DGS has also reminded the public that it is currently “essential” to maintain efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

These include:

  • Getting tested after returning from holiday, especially if you have visited areas of high virus circulation or attended social or festive events where social distancing measures could not be respected
  • Getting tested as soon as symptoms present themselves, even if they are light, so that health authorities can trace cases effectively
  • Isolating as soon as you experience any symptoms or when waiting for test results
  • Protecting those vulnerable to the virus such as the elderly and those with chronic illnesses
  • Respecting social distancing measures

(Covid-19 health measures advised by the French government, in English. Image: gouvernement.fr/Ressources) 

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