PARIS • France reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, its highest daily number since wide-scale testing began in the country.
The number rose to 10,561 new cases on Saturday, up from the previous day's figure of 9,406, the French public health agency said.
Over the 24-hour period, 17 people died in hospital, bringing the country's total fatalities to 30,910.
A total of 417 new patients were admitted to intensive care over the last week, the agency said.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned last Friday there was a "clear worsening" in the country's outbreak, and that a recent increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations was particularly worrying.
However, he did not announce any major new restrictions.
"We have to succeed in living with this virus, without returning to the idea of a generalised lockdown," he said.
Meanwhile, Austria's chancellor said yesterday that the country was experiencing the start of a second wave of infections.
From last Friday to Saturday, the Alpine nation of nearly nine million people reported 869 new cases - more than half of those in the capital Vienna.
"What we are experiencing is the beginning of the second wave," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement, appealing to people to stick to anti-virus measures and reduce social contact.
Austria has so far been able to avoid the brunt of the health crisis. Total coronavirus infections currently stand at more than 33,000 with around 750 deaths.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Czech Republic reported its biggest single-day increase in new infections for a third straight day yesterday, recording 1,541 cases.
It was the fifth day in a row with new infections above 1,000, after numbers began to accelerate last month. Adjusted for population, the country has reported 94 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control data. Only Spain and France have seen a bigger spike in that time.
As at Saturday, 453 patients had died, out of a total of 35,401 cases.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS