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

The figures - which reported an increasing R-rate - prompted concern that the disease was threatening to spread out of control across the country.

27 July 2020
By Connexion journalist

The French government made the wearing of masks mandatory last week, in response to an increase in coronavirus cases.

The number of coronavirus cases is increasing. The latest published R-rate - the number of people that a person with coronavirus will infect - rose from 1.18 on July 11, to 1.29 on July 18, according to official figures.

That means one infected person will infect 1.29 other people - or 100 contagious people will infect 129 others. A national alert will be triggered if the R rate rises above 1.5.

Ten people died of coronavirus on Thursday, July 24, the latest day for which figures were available at the time of writing, when it also reported more than 1,000 new cases in 24 hours. The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care - a key indicator for the progress of the virus - was 436, down from a peak of 7,148 in early April.

Read more: France to add new airport measures as Covid-19 fears grow

Nationally, the number of cases was 6.56 per 100,000 on July 19, compared to 5.83 per 100,000 a week before. The rising numbers, though low, prompted the government to make masks mandatory in enclosed spaces.

There are currently 120 active 'clusters' of cases, an increase of 10 in the last 24 hours - a cluster defined as three or more cases diagnosed within seven days where the patients have a provable link such as a workplace, family members or an event they have attended.

Read more: Latest data: France alert to possible second Covid-19 wave

According to the Sante Publique website, in mainland France the number of departments classified as moderate or high vulnerability for SARS-CoV-2 is increasing. Four departments are now concerned: Mayenne (high) and Vosges, Finistère and Gironde (moderate).

This interactive map shows the number of cases, by department.

This map shows the latest daily testing positivity rate 

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