Paris: Nearly 30,000 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized across France, after 551 new admissions were reported in the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike in a week, according to health authorities.
Also on Monday, the number of critically ill patients who required intensive care increased by 92 to 5,433, exceeding the country’s original capacity of 5,100 resuscitation beds, reports Xinhua news agency.
Deaths caused by respiratory disease rose to 97,005, up by 197 on Monday compared with 185 on Sunday.
The cumulative number of infections went over 4.8 million, with further 10,793 people tested positive within a day.
“We are already at 5,400 patients in intensive care and we know that in the coming weeks, whatever happens, the number of patients in intensive care will continue to increase automatically,” Health Minister Olivier Veran told TF1 television on Monday.
Veran warned that in France “the epidemic situation remains tense” and expected the third coronavirus wave would reach its peak “this week”.
France will receive 12 million additional doses this month, giving the government’s vaccination plan a shot in the arm.
The objective of inoculating 10 million people by mid-April would be met and “even anticipated by few days”, the Minister said.
Starting from mid-April people aged over 60 in France will be able to get vaccinated, from May 15 the vaccination will be open to people aged between 50 and 60 and from mid-June the age limit will be lifted.
Since the start of the vaccination campaign, over 9.35 million people, or 17.8 per cent of the adult population, have received at least one shot and more than 3.14 million have got two injections, the Health Ministry said on Monday.
This weekend, France went into one-month confinement to cope with the third wave.
People’s movement is limited to a radius of 10 km from home and inter-cities travels are banned.
Schools are closed for three to four weeks and non-essential shops shut down.
Catering businesses and culture venues, forced to suspend their activities since October 2020, remained closed.