YOUNG GETTING INFECTED
PARIS • The French health ministry reported 3,304 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, well below daily highs seen last week, though greater numbers of young adults are testing positive, many without showing symptoms.
The number of new infections was above the 1,995 reported on Monday but remained well below Sunday’s new post-lockdown record of 4,897 and below levels above 3,600 reported in the second half of last week.
The cumulative total rose to 248,158, along with 30,544 deaths, while the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 fell by 90 to a new post-lockdown low of 4,600.
The tally of people in intensive care rose by 11 to 410, and is back to levels last seen at end-July, but remains far below the high of more than 7,000 in early April.
Epidemiologists say the relatively limited pressure on hospitals is due to the fact that the virus now circulates actively among younger people, who typically show fewer or no symptoms of the respiratory disease.
But increased infections among young adults are beginning to show in hospital statistics, the health ministry said in its latest review. The number of people under 40 hospitalised for Covid-19 has more than doubled to 18 per cent since early last month, compared to about 8 per cent from February to July, ministry data showed. About 13 per cent of patients in intensive care were younger than 40, up from 7 per cent in the spring.
Inserm research institute’s epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola said France needed to remain vigilant. “It is hard to imagine the virus remaining confined among the young… The more it circulates among young people, the bigger the chance it will jump to older people,” she said.
France will not let its guard down but life must return to some kind of normality, Prime Minister Jean Castex said yesterday, as a senior adviser to the government warned of a second wave in November.