France's Covid-19 hospitalisations see biggest jump since Nov 2020

The number of people with Covid-19 in French ICUs also rose to 3,913. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - The number of people with Covid-19 in French hospitals rose by 888 to 25,775, the health ministry said on Monday (Jan 17), the biggest one-day increase since early November 2020 - before the start of the country's vaccination campaign.

The last time the number of Covid-19 patients was over 25,000 was on Dec 17, 2020.

Health ministry data on Monday also showed that the number of people with Covid-19 in intensive care units rose by 61 to 3,913, after being flat to stable for four days.

France's Institut Pasteur said last week that it expected to see a peak of new Omicron variant coronavirus infections in mid-January, followed by a peak in hospital admissions in the second half of January.

On Sunday, the ministry reported more than 278,000 new infections, which was a decline of 6 per cent against a week earlier and the first week-on-week fall this year.

On Sunday, the seven-day moving average of new infections fell to 294,452, after setting a record high of just over 297,000 on Saturday. That was the first fall time since mid-November, when new infections averaged around 10,000 per day.

On Monday, the ministry reported 102,144 new cases and the seven-day average again rose slightly to 295,631. It also reported 296 new deaths, taking the total to 127,263.

Parliament gave final approval on Sunday to the government's latest measures to tackle Covid-19, including a vaccine pass contested by anti-vaccine protesters.

The new law, which had a rough ride through parliament with opposition parties finding some of its provisions too strict, will require people to show a certificate of vaccination to enter public places like restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains.

Currently, unvaccinated people can enter such places with the results of a recent negative Covid-19 test. Nearly 78 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry.

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