France’s daily Covid-19 infections has jumped above 30,000 for the first time since the virus became an epidemic in the country.
There were a total of 30,621 new infections over the past 24 hours, up on Wednesday’s 22,591, while hospitalisations and deaths linked to the disease also increased.
It comes as French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered a nightly curfew in Paris and eight other big cities where the coronavirus is rampant.
The number of people in France who have died from coronavirus rose by 88 to 33,125, versus 104 on Wednesday. The cumulative number of cases now totals 809,684.
Patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) now total 1,750, an increase of 77 in 24 hours.
The French government has declared a public health state of emergency.
The curfews in the capital and elsewhere will take effect from Saturday, and will run daily from 9:00pm until 6:00 am the following morning.
Mr Macron said curfews would be imposed in the greater Paris region, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier and five other cities. They will remain in place for four weeks.
“We have to react,” he said in an interview on national television.
The president said France had not lost control of the virus, but added: “We are in a worrying situation.”
France previously declared a public health state of emergency in March this year, when hospitalisations caused by the epidemic were near their peak.
At the time, the authorities used their extra powers to order people to stay at home except for essential work, buying food or taking one hour of daily exercise.
The state of emergency was lifted in mainland France in July, after the number of Covid-19 cases subsided.