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First rise in intensive care cases in France since April

The number of people in intensive care due to Covid-19-related causes has risen slightly in France within the past week, in a reverse of the general decrease seen since April.

Since Friday (July 31) the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care has risen by 13 new cases. In total 29 more deaths have been recorded, said a report from health body la Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS).

The number of people hospitalised in intensive care had risen to 384 by Monday (August 3), with 29 new admissions in the past 24 hours, the DGS said. Of these, 68% of the new intensive care admissions are in Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Hauts-de-France, and French Guiana.

The number of people in intensive care began to rise for the first time last Thursday, after one more person was admitted. This was the first time admissions had risen since April 9.

A total of 556 new cases of Covid-19 were reported for the past 24 hours - fewer than any other day in the week previous. France confirmed five new localised outbreaks (clusters) since Sunday, but 432 others had been reported and were under control.

There have been 1,346 new cases to July 31, figures show, suggesting that the epidemic is spreading again - although far more slowly than in March.

In total in France there have been 30,294 deaths reported by hospitals, and 10,515 in social and medical establishments, at the last official count on July 28.

The “R” number - the number of people that one ill person will themselves infect on average - across France was at 1.38 on July 31, above the “alert” level of 1, and up from the 0.8 average that was seen during confinement.

Read more: How worrying is France's coronavirus R-rate rise?

The DGS has reminded the public to continue to apply hygiene rules. It said: “Gather in small groups, use masks and sanitiser gel in public, choose outdoor spaces, air out rooms, use the Stop Covid [smartphone] app, and protect the most vulnerable people.”

It also reminded people that if they have a positive PCR test, they must self-isolate immediately at home, maintain physical distancing, wash hands regularly, let your friends and contacts know ASAP, including relatives and work colleagues, so that they themselves can go to get tested.

The slight rise in intensive care numbers comes as more communes and cities in France make masks mandatory - even outdoors - and tests are now free for everyone in a bid to slow the virus spread.

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French doctor: People should wear mask ‘all the time’

Covid-19 France: free tests for all as clusters investigated

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