New Covid cases in France jump to more than 30,000

France has reported a large jump in new Covid-19 cases ahead of a night-time curfew being imposed on Paris and eight other cities on Saturday.

A further 30,621 infections were confirmed on Thursday, up from 22,591 the day before.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that tough restrictions are “absolutely necessary” to save lives.

Millions in Europe have been told they must live under strict new measures as governments battle a second wave.

From Saturday, socialising indoors will be banned in London, as the UK capital and other areas of England will be put under a higher Covid alert.

As well as France, Italy, Poland and Germany all recorded their largest daily rise in new cases on Thursday since mass testing began.

Russia recorded its highest number of daily fatalities since the start of the epidemic with 286 people reported to have died from the virus.

The WHO urged European governments “to step up” and take action as the continent passed a threshold of 1,000 deaths reported daily.

What is happening in France?

New restrictions were announced on Wednesday by President Emmanuel Macron to combat the soaring infection rate across France.

Residents of Paris, its suburbs and eight other cities including Marseille and Lyon will not be able to leave their homes without “valid” reason between 21:00 and 06:00 from Saturday for at least four weeks. Mr Macron said he aimed to reduce the daily rise in cases to 3,000.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said police would be deployed to enforce the curfew, but people will still be allowed to leave for work or to visit hospital or the pharmacy.

On Thursday, French police raided the homes of senior government and health officials as part of an investigation into their handling of the pandemic.

The government has faced criticism over shortages of equipment and slow response times.

Covid-19 deaths are currently five times lower than they were in March and April, when the first wave hit the continent, the WHO’s European director, Dr Hans Kluge, told a news conference on Thursday.


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