France records record 271,000 coronavirus cases in a single day

PARIS – France on Tuesday reported a record 271,686 cases of the virus per day as omicron infections multiply across the country, weighing on hospital staff and threatening to disrupt transport, schools and other services.

The French government is working to avoid an economically damaging new lockdown and instead is trying to rush a vaccine adoption bill through parliament in the hope that it will be enough to protect hospitals.

But with the highest number of confirmed daily virus cases in Europe, after weeks of record numbers, France is in an increasingly difficult position. The average number of daily cases in France has more than doubled in one week, with a current overall infection rate of over 1,671 per 100,000 people over the past week.

Britain, which is also experiencing a sharp increase, reported a record 218,274 daily cases on Tuesday. Germany reported 30,561 cases on Tuesday.

More than 20,000 people are hospitalized with the virus in France, a number that has been rising steadily for weeks but not as sharply as infection rates.

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COVID-19 patients occupy more than 72% of intensive care beds in France, and a once famous healthcare system is once again showing signs of strain. Most patients infected with the virus in intensive care units are not vaccinated, although 77% of the population have received at least two doses.

More than 123,000 people with the virus have died in France, among the highest in the world.

A growing number of people in France cannot work because they are sick or are cases of close contact, disrupting some hospitals and forcing some cancellations of regional trains, among other services.

The French government has imposed some restrictions on crowds and reimposed requirements for outdoor masks in some locations, in addition to requirements for indoor masks. The push is also forcing candidates in the April presidential election to scale back campaign events.

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