France must stay vigilant as more people will be hospitalised in intensive care units in the next two weeks, reflecting a flare-up in COVID-19 infections in recent days, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Saturday. Veran however ruled out the need for a new nationwide lockdown, telling BFM television that France had other means to fight the virus, including testing.

“I cannot envision a general lockdown. The lockdown was a lid on an overflowing cooking pot,” he said. Health authorities on Friday reported 8,975 new confirmed cases, almost 1,500 higher than the previous daily peak of 7,578 on March 31, when France was in one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. The death toll in France stood at 30,686 people as of Friday.

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