France hit by biggest ever covid spike with 30,621 new coronavirus cases as second wave smashes Europe

FRANCE is reeling after its biggest ever covid spike – recording 30,621 new coronavirus cases in a DAY as a second coronavirus wave smashes Europe.

That's a shocking spike of 8,000 cases in 24 hours, with France's coronavirus death tally rising by 88 to 33,125, say officials.

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Health bosses confirmed daily reported coronavirus infections jumped above 30,000 for the first time since the start of the killer pandemic.

France had recorded 22,591 new Covid cases on Wednesday – the third time in just six days there were more than 20,000.

But this figure leapt to a record total of 30,621 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, while hospitalisations and deaths linked to the disease also rose.

France's coronavirus death tally meanwhile jumped by 88 to 33,125, versus 104 on Wednesday. The cumulative number of cases now totals 809,684.

Patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) have risen to 1,750 – a spike of 77 in 24 hours.

Covid-19 patients now occupy 40 per cent of ICU beds in the Paris region, and more than a quarter of ICUs nationwide as weeks of growing infections among young people spread to vulnerable populations.

France hasn’t added significant ICU capacity or the staff needed to manage extra beds, according to national health agency figures and doctors at multiple hospitals.

As in many countries facing resurgent infections, critics say France’s leaders haven’t learned their lessons from the first wave.

“It’s very tense, we don’t have any more places,” Debbat told The Associated Press.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered a nightly curfew in Paris and eight other big cities where the coronavirus is rampant.

The country's five largest cities are on "maximum alert", with bars and gyms closed.

The rules come into force from Saturday and will bar hospitality venues from opening between 9pm and 6am.

COPS RAID HEALTH CHIEF'S HOME

This morning, cops raided the homes and offices of France’s health minister, its public health director and former prime minister as a judicial investigation into the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis deepened.

The early morning searches stunned many in France, which has one of the highest Covid death tolls in Western Europe.

The raids took place just hours after Macron ordered a night curfew impacting almost a third of the French population.

France's shocking tallies come amid a second deadly wave of Covid rampaging through Europe – as Spain shuts bars and Portugal declares a "state of calamity".

Many countries in Europe have announced strict new measures in an attempt to limit the impact of the fresh spike.



The new restrictions in Europe come as Britain also faces new coronavirus rules, with a three-tiered system being introduced as winter begins.

Social life has shut down across Europe, with France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and many other nations limiting interactions.

Scientists have issued a warning as the cold weather approaches, with the spread of the flu and people spending more time indoors allowing the virus to spread more easily.

SPAIN

Spain became the first European country to have more than 900,000 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday.

Spain now has 908,056 Covid cases – the seventh-highest in the world.

Hospitalisations in the country have increased during the second wave.

In Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, bars and restaurants have been forced to close for 15 days, and there are limits on the number of people in shops.



 

PORTUGAL

The Portuguese government imposed a "state of calamity" yesterday, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Gatherings have been limited to just five people, while the government is hoping to make masks compulsory in all public places.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said: "The success of our fight against this pandemic depends on the personal behaviour of each one of us."

Portugal recorded its highest number of daily new cases yesterday with 2,072.

Health Minister Marta Temido said Portugal's Covid cases were "in a growh situation that will tend to get worse over the coming days".

The government also hopes to introduce a tracing app, while fines for businesses that break coronavirus rues have been raised to €10,000 (£9,045).

ITALY

The UK's Transport secretary Grant Shapps has tweeted that Italy is off the UK's safe travel list as of this Sunday.

He posted: “We are removing Italy, Vatican City state & San Marino from the Travel Corridor list.

“However, note that the implementation date is moved to 4am on Sunday 18 October and applies UK wide.

“If you arrive from these destinations you will need to self-isolate.”

Infections are rising in Northern Italy, the area where the pandemic first hit Europe.

A record 7,332 cases were reported across Italy yesterday – more than the worst day in March, at the beginning of the pandemic.

Italy's cases per 100,000 people have doubled in the last two weeks to 87.

Bars and restaurants have a midnight curfew, while casual sports and celebrations inside public venues are banned.

Masks are compulsory both indoors and outdoors.

The Italian government has refused to rule out closing cities, but also wants to avoid another harsh lockdown.



RUSSIA

Russia reported more than 10,000 new cases on each of the past 11 days.

On Wednesday, 14,231 cases were reported – the highest since the pandemic began.

Elderly people in Moscow have been told to isolate, while school holidays have been extended for another week.

Some students have been moved to online lessons in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

GERMANY

Germany had a record-high new number of Covid-19 cases yesterday with 6,638.

Politicians are debating whether to extend the school holiday break over the Christmas and New Year period to stop the spread of the virus among children.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also reportedly wants to toughen up coronavirus measures, including requiring masks to be worn in more public places.

Proposals set to be discussed in Germany include new restrictions being introduced once a region has 35 infections per 100,000 people in one week.

Merkel has urged Germans to keep Covid cases manageable.

According to a draft policy paper, citizens are being asked to consider how "necessary and justifiable" private parties are.

The paper also warns that stricter restrictions could be brought in if infections continue to rise.


CZECH REPUBLIC

Infection rates are now at 521 per 100,000 people in the past two weeks, which is the highest rate in Europe.

Schools in the Czech Republic have been closed.

Education Minister Robert Plaga said: "It's necessary to [close schools] and to do it fast."

The country's health ministry said more teachers and other education staff have Covid than health workers, with 4,500 school workers infected.

Hospitals have slashed non-urgent surgeries and medical procedures to free up hospital beds.

Bars, restaurants and clubs have shut across the country.

Builders have also been rushing to turn hospitals' general wards into Covid-19 departments.


BELGIUM

There are fears that intensive care beds in Belgium could be full in just one month if Covid cases continue to rise at the same rate.

Hospitals have had to reserve a quarter of their beds for Covid patients.

Belgium has an infection rate of 429 cases per 100,000 people, the second-worst in Europe.

Curfews were introduced in the country last week, and bars in the capital Brussels have been closed for at least one month and indoor sports activities have been restricted.

There were 1,621 Covid patients hospitalised in Belgium as of yesterday, with 281 in intensive care.

Crisis center spokesman Yves Van Laetham said: "We will reach our maximum capacity of 2,000 beds by mid-November in ICUs if this kind of increase continues.

"We absolutely need to avoid this scenario."

IRELAND

A ban on all household visits will be introduced in Ireland tonight, with compassionate reasons exempt.

Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan have been moved to the second-highest level of restrictions.

In those counties, gyms, pools, leisure centres and non-essential shops are closed.

The rules are expected to be in place until November 10.

People are also encouraged to work from home.

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