France has reported 59,019 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, which is the highest number since April, the national agency for public health said. Hospitalizations have also been on the rise.
New daily infections surpassed 59,000 for the first time since April 8, when the nation saw a whopping 84,999 new cases – the highest since the start of the epidemic. The French health ministry also reported an uptick in hospital admissions. They rose by 618 to 12,714, which is also the second-highest one-day increase this year behind only April 6, which saw 732 new patients admitted to hospitals.
The number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) rose by 160 to 2,351, which is also close to this year’s daily record of 193 reported on April 6. Still, the overall number of hospitalizations and ICU patients remains between two and three times lower than in April, when 30,600 Covid-19 patients were in hospitals and more than 5,600 of them in the ICU.
Around 76% of French citizens are fully vaccinated, with over 50 million of the 67-million-strong population receiving at least two vaccine doses, according to government data.
Amid the surge in new cases, the French government ordered nightclubs closed for four weeks starting this weekend. Prime Minister Jean Castex, who himself emerged from quarantine last week, made the announcement on Monday.
He also called on employers to encourage staff to work from home and said that health passes would from now on be required to enter eating venues in outdoor Christmas markets.
Schools will also have to introduce stricter social distancing measures and extend mask requirements.