France sees more than 100,000 infections in ONE DAY for the first time

France will hold a crisis meeting TODAY amid calls for a curfew to curb Covid cases as they hit 100,000 in one day for the first time since the pandemic began

  •  France has recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus infections in a single day
  • Covid cases in French hospitals have also doubled over the past month 
  • More than one person in 100 in the Paris region has tested positive this week
  • Most new infections are linked to Omicron according to government experts
  • But studies published last week have shown that Omicron is significantly less likely to cause hospitalisation than the Delta variant 

France has recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus infections in a single day for the first time since the pandemic began.

Covid cases in hospital have also doubled over the past month, as the fast-spreading Omicron variant complicates the government’s efforts to stave off a new lockdown.

More than one person in 100 in the Paris region has tested positive in the past week, according to the regional health service.

Most new infections are linked to Omicron, which government experts predict will be dominant in France in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a surge in Delta variant infections in recent months is pushing up hospital admissions.

More than 1,000 people in France with the virus died over the past week, bringing the overall death toll to more than 122,000.

Nurse Medina Bengler feeds a patient with COVID-19 in the COVID-19 continued care unit at the la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Friday, Dec. 24, 2021. Marseille’s La Timone Hospital, one of France’s biggest hospitals, has weathered wave after wave of COVID-19

Medical workers tend to a patient suffering with COVID-19 and on a ventilator in the intensive care unit at the la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

People lining up to get a nasal swap at a mobile COVID-19 testing site on the Christmas Eve at the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Friday, Dec. 24, 2021.

The head of intensive care at La Timone hospital in Marseille, France, said most COVID-19 patients over Christmas were unvaccinated, while his staff are exhausted or can’t work because they are infected.

‘We’re sick of this,’ said Dr. Julien Carvelli, the hospital’s ICU chief.

‘We´re afraid we won´t have enough space.’

The government is holding emergency meetings on Monday to discuss the next steps. Some scientists and educators have urged the return to schools after the Christmas break to be delayed, or for a curfew to be re-imposed.

But the education minister says schools should open as usual on January 3, and other government officials are working to avoid measures that would hammer the economy’s recovery.

Instead, the government is hoping that stepped-up vaccinations will be enough.

The government is pushing a draft law that would require vaccination to enter all restaurants and many public venues, instead of the current health pass system which allows people to produce a negative test or proof of recovery if they are not vaccinated.

Emergency room nurse Sonia Harrat takes a break while working on Christmas day at the la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021.

A medical staff prepares nasal swaps to test a woman with her children at a testing site on the Christmas Eve in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, Friday, Dec. 24, 2021.

Hospital worker Houda Mokrani takes a selfie with her colleagues on Christmas day in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Friday, Dec. 25, 2021.

France’s peak in Covid cases comes as Boris Johnson considers the implementation of new coronavirus restrictions across Britain after experts from SAGE warned that the Omicron variant could cause a surge of hospitalisations higher than last winter’s peak. 

Figures from the ONS on Friday showed that 1 in 10 Londoners had the virus last week, and there are now fears that millions of Brits will be forced into seven day isolation – crippling essential services such as police and public transport.    

In minutes from a meeting on December 23 published last night, the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies warned that the peak on hospital admissions ‘may be comparable to or higher than previous peaks’ – including the second wave in January.

However, MPs and hospitality bosses have warned not to bring in new restrictions before New Year’s Eve or risk ‘devastating’ businesses, while the Prime Minister is said to be determined to avoid closing schools after Tory MPs issued a warning shot at Mr Johnson and his Government to resist any lockdown measures.

Cabinet Ministers last week rejected Government scientist suggestions to tighten rules before Christmas.

Following studies last week that showed Omicron is significantly less likely to cause hospitalisation than the Delta variant, Mr Johnson is not expected to bring in legally binding restrictions or lockdown measures.

London is being battered hardest by the new variant, with one in 20 infected with the virus and ten of the worst hit postcodes in England located within a three square mile stretch between Wandsworth and Lambeth (highlighted in yellow above)

In a more likely scenario the Prime Minister could issue guidance telling people to limit their contacts.

Last January hospitalisations peaked at 4,583 daily admissions, over four times the current rate.

But although the studies last week found that Omicron was much less virulent than Delta – between 15 and 70 per cent less likely to lead to hospitalisation – Sage cautioned against optimism.

It warned these figures were largely based on younger people who have formed the bulk of infections so far.

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