France reports record-high 271,686 virus cases

AP , Wednesday 5 Jan 2022

France reported a record-smashing 271,686 daily virus cases Tuesday as Omicron infections race across the country, burdening hospital staff and threatening to disrupt transport, schools, and other services.

A mobile COVID-19 testing site in France
People wait to get a nasal swap at a mobile COVID-19 testing site in Albigny-sur-Saone, outside Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Over 12 million French children returned to school Monday. New rules include all children in the same class getting tested three times in the four days if one pupil tests positive for COVID-19. AP

The French government is straining to avoid a new economically damaging lockdown and is instead trying to rush a vaccine pass bill through parliament in hopes that it is enough to protect hospitals.

But with Europe's highest number of confirmed daily virus cases, after weeks of record-breaking figures, France is in an increasingly challenging position.

France's average daily caseload has more than doubled in a week, with an overall current infection rate of more than 1,671 people out of 100,000 over the past week.

Britain reported a record 218,274 daily cases Tuesday; Germany reported 30,561.

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 the infection rates.

COVID-19 patients fill more than 72% of France's ICU beds, and a once-renowned health care system is again showing signs of strain. Most virus patients in ICUs are not vaccinated, though 77% of the population has had at least two doses.

Short link: