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France reports new Covid infection record with spread of omicron

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France reports new Covid infection record with spread of omicron

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Emmanuel Macron, French President, takes off his face mask during a press conference.

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France saw its Covid-19 infection rate break a new record on Tuesday as the new, highly contagious variant of omicron sweeps across the European continent.

The figure of 368,149 in the past 24 hours beats a previous record of 332,252 set on January 5.

Its seven-day moving average of cases was nearly 270,000 on Monday, according to Our World in Data, significantly above counts in neighboring countries like the UK.

France is set to put in place a strict Covid passport system whereby citizens will need to be vaccinated before they can enter a restaurant or indoor events, rather than being vaccinated or recording a negative test.

President Emmanuel Macron sparked controversy last week after saying he would make life difficult for citizens who refuse a Covid-19 vaccine.

“I’m not to annoy the French. I rant all day against the administration when it blocks them. Well, there, the unvaccinated, I really want to annoy them. And so, we will continue to do so. , until the end, “said the French leader in an interview with Le Parisien.

His comments coincided with parliamentary discussions over Covid passes. Macron used the French word “emmerder” in his interview with Le Parisien, which can be roughly translated as “hassle” or “bored”, or would be close to the phrase “to shit”.

More than 50% of the European population will be infected with the omicron Covid-19 variant over the next two months, according to a forecast shared by a senior official at the World Health Organization.

Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, cited data from the Seattle Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at a press conference on Tuesday as saying that a new “tidal wave of ‘west to east’ of omicron infections swept through the region, in addition to the previous delta variant that still prevails.

“This [omicron] is quickly becoming the dominant virus in Western Europe and is now spreading in the Balkans, ”Kluge said. He added that the region has experienced more than 7 million infections in the first week of 2022, which has more than doubled in two weeks.

—Silvia Amaro of CNBC contributed to this article.

France reports new Covid infection record with spread of omicron

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