France Sees ‘Exponential’ Coronavirus Surge ahead of New School Year

France Sees ‘Exponential’ Coronavirus Surge ahead of New School Year

The new spike of coronavirus cases in France comes just as schools around the country are about to reopen for the new school year beginning on Tuesday.

France suffered its highest daily number of new coronavirus infections on Friday since the end of its lockdown, a surge occurring barely a few days before the start of the new school year.

The French Health Minister reported a total of 7,379 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday describing the situation as an “exponential progression of virus transmission”, as cited by Reuters and France24.

The highest post-lockdown figure nearly surpassed the highest daily coronavirus tally in France (7,578 cases registered on March 31), raising fears of a new lockdown.

For the time being, however, the spike in infection numbers has not led to increased numbers of hospitalizations or deaths.

Thus, on Friday, the French Health Ministry reported 20 new fatalities from COVID-19. It also said the number of people in hospital with the coronavirus remained the same at 4,535, and the number of patients in intensive case increased by six to 387.

A total of 30,596 people have died from the novel coronavirus in France so far.

“We’re doing everything to avoid another lockdown, and in particular a nationwide lockdown,” French President Emmanuel Macron told journalists earlier on Friday.

He made it clear the authorities were seeking new ways to curb the spread of the coronavirus virus without resorting to a new lockdown. At the same time, however, Macron abstained from ruling out any scenario.

For instance, on Friday, the residents of the French capital Paris were obliged to wear masks at all times outdoors.

The new spike of coronavirus cases in France comes just as schools around the country are about to reopen for the new school year beginning on Tuesday.

The long-anticipated step back to normality would see more than 12 million children go back to school, most of them for the first time since March.

The French government began lifting the lockdown measures as of May 11, after seeing a substantial reduction in the number of new COVID-19 infections.

Two weeks later, the number of daily new infections fell to a low of 115 and a seven-day average low of 272.

Following the reopening of public venues such as restaurants, museums and shopping malls, the number of new confirmed cases grew to about 500 per day by the end of June.

The number then doubled to around 1,000 per day by the end of July, quadrupled to around 2,000 by mid-August, and surged above 5,000 this week

The French health authorities point out that the virus is now spreading among younger people who are less likely to show severe symptoms.

(Banner image: Emmanuel Macron on Twiiter)

Ivan Dikov is a Bulgarian journalist and author. He studied political science / international relations and history at Dartmouth College and later in Sofia, in the Eastern Balkans. He’s served for five years as the editor-in-chief of Bulgaria’s largest English-language media – Novinite.com. As a freelancer, he has collaborated with media from the US, the UK, Germany, and Australia.

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