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France reports record COVID-19 cases since May lockdown as global infections rise

The French health ministry on Sunday reported 4,897 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours.
The French health ministry on Sunday reported 4,897 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours.   -   Copyright  Loic VENANCE / AFP
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France reported its highest daily level of coronavirus cases since the end of a two-month lockdown period in May.

The French health ministry on Sunday reported 4,897 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, which is a jump from Saturday's numbers when 3,602 cases were reported.

The death toll also increased by one, bringing the total number of fatalities to 30,513.

The numbers come as France's health minister Olivier Veran said the virus is circulating four times more among people under the age of 40 than among people aged over 65.

In comments to France's Journal Du Dimanche (JDD) published on Sunday he said gatherings and parties where social distancing rules were ignored was mainly to blame.

"We're in a risky situation," Veran told the newspaper.

He also warned the COVID-19 was on the rise among the elderly too.

"This is not a French exception, it's a European dynamic," Veran said, adding that a second total lockdown was out of the question but said localised measures could be applied.

Italy also reported a steady rise in cases.

The country recorded 1,210 cases on Sunday, which is a high increase compared to 642 cases on Wednesday.

Like France, Italy has ruled out a general return to lockdown.

The United Kingdom also reported an uptick in cases.

On Sunday, 1,041 new cases were recorded. But it is down from 1,288 cases on Saturday. It's the fourth consecutive day that new infections have been over 1,000 in 24 hours.

With school children set to return to classrooms in September, the UK's chief medical officers said children are more likely to be harmed if they do not return to school than if they catch the virus. It comes as a Public Health England report said infections were "uncommon" in schools.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization recommended that children aged 12 and over wear a mask.

In a political scandal, the EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said he was "fully and unreservedly" sorry for attending a golf event in Ireland with more than 80 people, which breached the country's COVID-19 rules.

In Germany, politicians have suggested private parties should be temporarily banned after the infection rate reached a four-month high.

Elsewhere, 13 people died in Peru after they tried to escape a police raid at a nightclub that breached lockdown rules.

And India has become the third country in the world to pass three million coronavirus cases, after the US and Brazil.