France reports highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a day

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18 September 2020

France registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Thursday, the country’s highest single-day count since the pandemic began, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The rise followed a government decision to make COVID-19 tests free, leading to a surge in testing and an increase in infection rates.

The previous high in 24 hours in France was 10,561 new cases, recorded on Sept. 12. The seven-day moving average of new cases - which smoothes out irregularities - rose to a high of nearly 8,800.

The ministry reported that the cumulative number of cases had risen to 415,481, and the death toll had risen by 50 to 31,095, the second-highest number of new deaths in a day in two months.

The government’s decision to make COVID-19 testing free has resulted in long queues at testing centres in cities and testing has increased six-fold since the peak of the first coronavirus wave.

About 1.2 million tests were carried out last week, the health minister said. Data show 5.4% of tests were positive.

Doctors say many tests are pointless as some people who have no symptoms, or have had no contact with people with confirmed cases, take multiple tests.

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