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France second wave: Coronavirus panic after ‘sharp increase’ in cases for second day

The French Health Ministry has confirmed 1,130 new COVID-19 cases have been detected in the past 24 hours. It is the second consecutive day the daily number of new cases have exceeded 1,000. The General Directorate of Health (DGS) also confirmed the R rate of infection has also surged to 1.3.

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A rate of transmission of one and above means the number of people infected will increase.

In a statement, the DGS warned the new coronavirus figures indicated a “clear increase in France” and had gone back to levels recorded before restrictions were eased. 

The health body added: “With a number of daily cases greater than 1,000, we have returned to levels comparable to those at the end of the confinement period.”

France has reported a surge in coronavirus cases (Image: GETTY)

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A patient is tested for coronavirus in France (Image: PA)

The DGS also issued a warning to the French public and insisted the good work during lockdown to suppress the virus had been lost and called for people to abide by the coronavirus restrictions.

The DGS said: We have erased a good part of the progress that we had made in the first weeks of deconfinement.

“It is more than ever necessary to find a collective discipline.”

France has been one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic with more than 180,000 people testing positive and more than 30,000 deaths.

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France has recorded more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths (Image: PA)

French President Emmanuel Macron has attempted to contain the virus and has made face coverings compulsory in shops and other enclosed public spaces since July 21.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said the Government would supply seven million French people living in poverty with 40 million re-usable face masks free of charge.

The surge in infections comes as French Prime Minister Jean Castex advised people not to travel to the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia.

In Catalonia, 8,563 cases were diagnosed in the 14 days up to Thursday – almost half of the 17,842 detected throughout Spain.

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Coronavirus has infected more than 180,000 people in France (Image: GETTY)

Mr Castex said: “Concerning the situation in Catatonia, which is displaying worsened indicators for infection, we strongly encourage French citizens to avoid going there until the health situation improves.”

Earlier today during a visit to Charles-de-Gaulle international airport near Paris, the French Prime Minister confirmed the Government was planning to reinforce coronavirus restrictions at the border.

Mr Castex announced from August 1, people arriving from 16 countries outside the European Union, where the infection rate is deemed to be high, will be subject to compulsory testing on arrival at French airports and seaports.

Coronavirus cases around the world (Image: EXPRESS)

Those who test positive will be required to enter quarantine.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Belgium has also reported a 91 percent spike in infections in the past week.

The increase in coronavirus cases across the English Channel will send alarm bells ringing inside Downing Street after France was included in the so-called air bridge travel scheme.

Passengers travelling between England and France are exempt from the travel restrictions and do not need to quarantine on return. 

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