Paris (AFP)

Faced with a deteriorating situation in France with 2,846 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, according to the Directorate General of Health, the obligation to wear the mask is reinforced in many cities, and particularly in Paris.

The positivity rate continues to increase, with now 2.4% of people tested who turn out to be contaminated, says the Directorate General of Health in its daily press release. 609,527 tests have been carried out over the last 7 days.

In the past 24 hours, 18 patients have died, bringing the death toll to 30,406 since the start of the epidemic. But the number of patients hospitalized in intensive care continues to decline, with 367 patients, or 7 fewer in 24 hours.

Friday evening the Paris prefecture announced that the compulsory wearing of a mask in the capital would be extended from Saturday morning 8 a.m. to many areas, including part of the Champs-Elysées, the Louvre and Batignolles districts.

"If the epidemiological situation were to deteriorate again, the wearing of a mask could become compulsory throughout the capital", warns the prefecture, which also indicates that gatherings and demonstrations of more than ten people who will not guarantee the respect of barrier measures will be prohibited.

Paris has been classified since Friday, like the Bouches-du-Rhône, a department in which the circulation of the virus is active. "Every day, around 600 people test positive for Covid-19 in the region, including 260 in Paris. The positivity rate today stands at 4.14% in Paris, at 3.6% in Ile-de- France against 2.4% on the national average ", according to the prefecture.

On France Inter Friday morning, Jérôme Salomon however wanted to be optimistic: "we can curb the epidemic and put an end to + clusters + at risk", he said, citing the case of Mayenne, a department where several outbreaks of Covid-19 had been identified. “The Mayenne people have mobilized, observed all the barrier gestures, agreed to be massively tested: it worked!”.

27 new clusters have been reported since Thursday across the country, for a total of 342 still active, according to the DGS.

- "Awareness" -

"The virus does not think, does not move, does not jump", underlined the DGS in its daily report. "It is we who travel, who come into contact with others, who sometimes slack off in terms of prevention. There is no inevitability."

"The main clusters are those where there are large gatherings, festive, friendly, family events", described the Director General of Health. "At the start of the school year, the virus will still be there and we will have to live with it, but by applying the prevention pact and barrier measures", Jérôme Salomon concluded.

In addition to these "barrier measures" (physical distance, hand washing, etc.) it is also "urgent to make the wearing of a mask compulsory in all confined spaces, in all offices, in all classrooms and amphitheatres, and also to unambiguously encourage teleworking, distance learning and the reorganization of classes with smaller numbers, "said a group of doctors on Friday, calling for" awareness "before the start of the school year.

Imposing the mask in all closed collective places "is a question of consistency", judge the twenty health professionals in this text published online by Liberation, while it has been mandatory since July 20 in closed public places (shops , utilities, etc.).

Faced with the rise in the number of cases of contamination, more and more large cities and tourist communities are requiring the wearing of a mask in the street, especially in markets or certain busy arteries.

Friday, a decree from the Prefecture of Charente-Maritime imposes it on the island of Ré and in certain public spaces in Saintes and Saint-Georges d'Oléron, after a similar decision for Fouras, Saint-Denis d'Oléron and Castles of Oléron. Covering your mouth and nose is also obligatory on the open-air markets and clearance sales of the Var and will become so on Monday in some of the streets of Toulon.

© 2020 AFP