July 30, 2020 / 6:02 PM / 4 days ago

France's new COVID-19 cases close 1,400 for second day in a row

FILE PHOTO: A French ambulance man, wearing protective suit and mask, makes a phone call before to transport to an hospital a man suspected of being infected with the coronavirus disease in Mennecy near Paris as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - France confirmed nearly 1,400 new COVID-19 cases for the second day running on Thursday, a level unseen since the end of June, while the country’s hospitals reported a rise in the number of people in intensive care for the first time in 16 weeks.

“The virus circulation is sustained with new daily cases increasing by more than 1,000 ... Swift and sweeping efforts are necessary,” health authorities said in a statement.

An additional 1,377 cases of the virus were reported, bringing the moving 7-day average above the 1,000 threshold for the first time since the first half of May, when France eased its lockdown, and the overall total to 186,573.

Health authorities said 381 people were in intensive care units (ICUs) due to the disease, up by only one compared with 24 hours earlier but the first time that figure has increased on a daily basis in 16 weeks.

At the peak of the pandemic, early April, there were more than 7,000 people in ICUs being treated for coronavirus.

The number of patients hospitalized for the disease declined by 75, to 5,375, continuing a more than two-months downward trend.

There were 16 new deaths from the disease, taking the total to 30,254.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Diane Craft and Alex Richardson

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