France’s health ministry reported a 54 percent rise in new coronavirus cases confirmed over the past week, calling the “marked increase” a worrying sign of the virus’s resurgence alongside a concurrent surge in hospitalizations and patients needing intensive care.

France recorded 1,377 new confirmed infections within the past 24 hours, a slight decrease from Thursday, when officials reported the highest new count of cases since May. Sixteen people have died of the virus since Thursday, raising the number of deaths officially linked to covid-19 to 30,254.

Overall, France’s National Public Health Agency reported a 27 percent increase in testing and a 54 percent increase in positive test results from July 20 to July 26, the Guardian reported. Fifty-one percent of positive cases showed no symptoms, while the biggest increase was in patients ages 20 to 25. Sixty-nine percent of new confirmed infections were in people ages 15 to 44.

“The increase in clusters was due to large family gatherings as well as public and private events,” the agency said in a statement, the Guardian reported. It also attributed the rise to a “drop in the systematic adoption of prevention measures (keeping a minimum 1-metre distance, not shaking hands and stopping embraces).”

France is expected to face a heat wave, which could discourage some from wearing masks. Nonetheless, several cities are imposing new face covering requirements in response to the rise in cases.

Lithuania on Friday added France to a “blacklist” of countries from which travelers must self-isolate for two weeks. There are 11 other European Union members on the list.

Elsewhere in Europe and Asia, new restrictions and record highs were also reported Friday. Germany has tightened its travel warnings on three areas of Spain as cases there climb. Poland, the Philippines and the Australian state of Victoria reported record daily increases in cases for the second day in a row, while Vietnam and Tokyo both recorded their highest single-day jumps yet. China also reported its highest number of new infections since March.

Source: The Washington Post

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