France registered 8,577 confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, the second biggest daily increase since the epidemic outbreak in the country, the Health Ministry said.
On September 4, France recorded 8,975 new positive cases, the highest daily tally since early March.
Health authorities' data showed that the cumulative number of people who have caught the respiratory illness is now at 344,101. Coronavirus-linked fatalities total 30,794, up by 30 from Tuesday, Xinhua reported.
After steadily falling since mid-April, admissions to hospital for the disease surged to above 5,000, a one-day rise of 386. The number of those who need to be put on a ventilator went up by 71 to 599, confirming a renewed spread of coronavirus.
In a recent interview, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said hospitalization and the number of serious cases were "the reflection of the epidemic situation of two weeks ago," expecting both indicators to worsen further in the next 15 days.
Following a sharp uptick in new cases and hospital-related data, the ministry called on people to follow the anti-virus rules.
"It is imperative to avoid large gatherings. It's necessary to favour small groups, to be equipped with a mask in public places as well with hydro-alcoholic gels...Respect for all barrier gestures, in all circumstances, is fundamental in the fight against the spread of the virus," it said.
Early on Wednesday, the country's scientific council warned that infection rates were "worrying," and that the virus was circulating faster than experts' estimates.
It noted that "the non-compliance with self-isolation measure by a potentially large part ... of people with the virus or contacts weakens the ability to control the chains of transmission."
"France is now at a worrying level which is not far behind Spain, with a lag of maybe two weeks, and much more severe than that of Italy," said Jean-Francois Delfraissy, president of the scientific council.
In this context, the government "will be forced to take a number of tough decisions within eight to 10 days," he added. "Any decision that will be taken will only have a potential benefit in 15 days."
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