France's new Covid-19 cases accelerate despite new lockdown

People wearing face masks walk in Place de la Bastille in Paris, on March 18, 2021.
People wearing face masks walk in Place de la Bastille in Paris, on March 18, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (REUTERS) - The tally of new Covid-19 cases in France has accelerated further despite the start of a third lockdown over the weekend, and the number of people in intensive care has hit a new four-month high, health ministry data showed.

France reported 15,792 new coronavirus cases on Monday (March 22), more than double the 6,471 reported last Monday and the highest number on a Monday since the peak of the second wave in early November.

The tally of Covid-19 infections on Mondays is usually a fraction of those recorded on other days due to a lack of weekend testing and reporting.

The number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) with Covi-19 rose by 142, the biggest one-day increase this year, to a new 2021 high of 4,548. During the second lockdown, a maximum of 4,919 people were in ICUs in mid-November.

The new cases pushed the cumulative total of recorded infections in France since the start of the pandemic to 4.29 million. They represent a week-on-week increase of more than 5 per cent, the 14th consecutive increase in the week-on-week rate, which stood at less than 4% on March 9.

France also registered 343 new deaths, pushing the official tally of Covid-19 fatalities to 92,621.