COVID-19: People in France ‘must wear masks again on public transport’ as new coronavirus wave hits the country | world news

According to the country’s health minister, people in France will have to wear masks again in crowded areas, especially when traveling by public transport, to deal with another wave of COVID-19.

the increase of coronavirus cases are fueled by new variants, with 17,601 new infections in the past 24 hours – the highest number on Monday since April 18.

It comes as the number of people in England’s hospitals who have tested positive for: COVID increased by more than a third in a week.

The latest wave in England is being driven by the newer Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, which now account for more than half of all new COVID cases.

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Since late last month, new infections have risen steadily in France, with the seven-day moving average of daily new cases more than quadrupling between 17,705 on May 27 and 71,018 on Monday.

However, that total is still five times lower than the record of 366,179 at the start of the year.

French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon said it is people’s “civil duty” to wear face coverings in enclosed areas, such as public transport, workplaces and shops.

“I’m not saying it should be mandatory, but I do ask the French to put on the mask on public transport,” she told RTL.

“I don’t just advise it, I ask for it.”

French vaccination chief Alain Fischer said last week that the country, like other European countries, is in the midst of a new COVID wave.

And he said he was in favor of bringing back mandatory masks on public transport.

People wear protective face masks on a bus with social distancing signs on seats in Cannes

The number of people being treated for the disease in French hospitals fell to a six-month low of 13,876 on June 18, but has since risen by 1,223 to 15,099 – the highest in four weeks.

There is traditionally a two-week delay between cases and hospitalizations, and then a similar delay in COVID-related deaths.

The number of COVID deaths in France has risen by 48 in 24 hours to 149,406.

In English hospitals, 7,822 patients had coronavirus on June 27, a 37% increase from the previous week, figures from the NHS show.

It’s the highest total in nearly two months, but still well below the peak of 16,600 patients during the Omicron BA.2 wave of infection earlier this year.

BA.5 is growing about 35% faster than BA.2 while BA.4 is growing 19% faster – meaning BA.5 is likely to become the dominant COVID soon variant in England, research from the UK Health Security Agency suggests.

However, there is “currently no evidence” that the two variants lead to more serious disease than previous variants.

In Scotland, 948 hospitalized patients with COVID were registered on June 19, an increase of 27% from the previous week.

In Wales, the number of patients increased by 41% week-on-week, to 417 on 24 June.

The trend in Northern Ireland is uncertain, with numbers rising in early June before leveling off between 320 and 340 in recent days.