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Covid situation continues to worsen in France

 
Paris, Jan 6 (IANS) The French Public Health Agency reported 332,252 new Covid-19 cases detected in the last 24 hours as the pandemic situation continues to worsen in the country.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said that the fight against the pandemic in France is "far from over", reports Xinhua news agency

"In two weeks, the incidence rate has tripled and has exceeded 1,800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants," he said.

Hospitals are overcrowded, and the majority of coronavirus-infected patients in intensive care are unvaccinated, he added.

"The situation could get worse over the next few weeks," Attal warned, adding that nearly 20,000 people are hospitalised, and more than 2,000 new patients are being admitted on a daily basis.

About 3,700 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care, which is more than 70 per cent of the French health system's initial capacity.

"The booster dose of the vaccine prevents 90 per cent of severe forms, including for the Omicron variant," Attal stressed.

He also announced several decisions of the Council of Ministers, including the declaration of a health emergency in French overseas territories.

For travellers between France and the UK, the list of compelling reasons to travel will be "enlarged, mostly for professionals".

Eight million COVID-19 self-tests will be distributed next week in pharmacies, including Chinese-made self-tests.

Discussions on the French health pass bill resumed on Wednesday, following the second suspension voted by a majority of members of Parliament.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jean Castex also told the Parliament that the draft bill must be "debated quickly" as the government has announced that it will be passed on January 15.

"There is an issue with our fellow citizens who refuse to get vaccinated", Castex added.

As of Thursday, the country's infection tally and death toll stood at 11,027,112 and 125,797, respectively.

--IANS
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