Coronavirus infections skyrocketed in France, with 20,339 more reported Friday, the biggest single-day jump since the end of the lockdown.
At least 62 additional fatalities raised the death toll to 32,630, according to the Health Ministry.
Hospitalizations stand at 4,837, with 1,439 patients in intensive care, up 21 since Thursday, another record since May.
Government and health officials have pulled out all the stops to remedy a situation that seems to be spinning out of control.
Since Tuesday, cafes and bars in Paris and the Ile-de-France have been closed for two weeks, with culinary establishments required to end service by 10 p.m. (2000GMT).
Paris was added to Marseille, along with the overseas territory of Guadeloupe, to the country’s maximum alert level.
On Thursday, Health Minister Olivier Veran added Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne, and Lille to the maximum alert level as well, starting Saturday.
The same restrictions will also apply for cafes and bars in these cities.
Veran asked for the public’s continued vigilance to tackle the virus.
“The health situation continues to deteriorate in France,” Veran said at a news conference. “Protect yourself, protect your family, be extremely careful.”
Around the world, COVID-19 cases are now more than 36.7 million and fatalities exceed 1 million in 188 countries, according to the latest figures from US-based Johns Hopkins University.
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