COVID19 – France overtakes Russia as worst affected country in Europe

France is now the worst coronavirus affected country in Europe, overtaking Russia. The country reported 35,879 new cases on Wednesday, taking the national total to 1,865,538. The country is almost two weeks into a new lockdown.

International aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it is recruiting emergency help for nursing homes in France to help with surging infections. Coordinator Olivia Gayraud said the emergency program is focused on relieving over-worked staff, adding that MSF has “expertise in crisis management” and experience helping “populations whose lives and health are threatened.’

France is almost two weeks into a new national lockdown and the health ministry’s new case tally was up from the 22,180 reported on Tuesday but remained well below the record high of 86,852 reported on Saturday. Last week, infections reached over 58,000 and 60,000. New infections in the first three days of this week totalled just over 78,000, compared with over 129,000 in the first three days of last week.

New hospital admissions for COVID-19, 441 over the past 24 hours, also stayed well below the more than 1,000 per day in the first half of last week. The number of people entering intensive care fell to 53, the lowest level since mid-October.

France also reported 328 new COVID-19 deaths over the past 24 hours, compared with 1,220 on Tuesday, which included a multi-day batch of 754 deaths in retirement homes.

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