France reports 32,427 new COVID-19 infections, hitting another one-day high

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7:09 PM | October 18, 2020

France reported 32,427 COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, a new high of daily tally, according to the data released by the Public Health Agency on Saturday.

The previous daily record, at 30,621 cases, was set on Thursday.

The total number of infections since the outbreak of the epidemic now stood at 867,197. The death toll reached 33,392, up by 90 from Friday.

To date, 1,722 clusters, including 357 in nursing homes, are under investigation. This represents 145 additional outbreaks in 24 hours.

Over the last seven days, 7,198 new hospitalizations have been identified, including 1,269 in intensive care, according to the official data.

“The transmission among the elderly is maintained at high levels and suggests a further increase in hospitalizations and deaths in the weeks to come,” said the agency.

In the absence of curative treatment and vaccine, it is essential to strengthen preventive actions including hygiene measures, physical distance, reduction of contacts, appropriate wearing of masks, limitation of gatherings as well as ventilation of confined spaces, it added.

To stem the quick spread of the virus, the French government declared a state of health emergency starting from Saturday. Curfews from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. were implemented in nine big cities since Friday midnight.

On Thursday, Sanofi, the French pharmaceutical giant, and U.S. Translate Bio said in a statement that the pre-clinical trials’ results of an mRNA-based vaccine developed by the two companies “demonstrated a favorable immune response profile against SARS-CoV-2” in mice and non-human primates.

A Phase 1/2 clinical trial is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020, they added.

As of Oct. 15, a total of 42 candidate vaccines were in clinical evaluation worldwide, including several from China, the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, Belgium and Germany entering Phase 3 trial. Another 156 candidate vaccines were in preclinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organization. 

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