France sees highest number of COVID-19 patients going into hospital since April


Doctor Henri Faure and medical workers treat a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Robert Ballanger hospital in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in France, October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - French hospitals registered 1,307 new coronavirus patients on Monday in the highest one-day increase since April 2, which saw 1,607 new patients, as the health system comes under increasing stress from a runaway infection rate.

French health ministry data showed that France now has a total of 17,784 coronavirus patients in its hospitals, compared with a record 32,292 on April 14, at the height of the March-May lockdown.

The ministry also reported 26,771 new confirmed coronavirus cases in past 24 hours, from 52,010 on Sunday. On Monday, the tally usually drops sharply because of reporting lags over the weekend.

The death toll went up by 257, taking the cumulative total since the start of the epidemic to 35,018. The number of people in intensive care units rose by 186 to 2,770.

Several regions in France have implemented emergency plans in hospitals, delaying non-essential operations to make space in ICU units for COVID-19 patients and cancelling staff holidays.

Sources told Reuters that authorities were looking at options for still tighter measures to fight COVID-19, including starting a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew earlier, confining people to their homes at weekends except for essential trips, and closing non-essential shops.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, Editing by Franklin Paul and Alison Williams)

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