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France exceeds 10,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for first time since start of coronavirus crisis

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People, wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus, walk in Paris, Thursday Sept. 10, 2020.
People, wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus, walk in Paris, Thursday Sept. 10, 2020.   -   Copyright  Francois Mori/AP
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France on Saturday reported over 10,000 daily COVID-19 cases — its highest total since the coronavirus pandemic began.

This is the first time the number of people who have been confirmed to have the virus exceeded 10,000 in 24 hours.

The country's confirmed cases in one day on Saturday stood at 10,561, compared to 9,406 new instances the day before, according to data published Saturday by Public Health France.

As many as 17 coronavirus deaths were recorded in hospitals and nursing homes over 24 hours, bringing the total to 30,910.

France has been struggling with a resurgence in cases of the virus after the situation deteriorated amid a mass return from holiday and the start of school in September.

Prime Minister Jean Castex warned on Friday that France has seen a "clear worsening" in the spread of COVID-19, adding the threat from the virus has "not lowered in intensity" and "will still be with us for some months".

However, he stopped short of announcing any sweeping new measures, explaining during the televised address that his government's strategy was to "avoid a general lockdown" by employing social distancing, masks and more testing.

Noting that there has been a large wait in certain cities for test results, Castex said laboratories will now prioritise people who are symptomatic or contacts of positive COVID-19 cases ahead of others.

He added that the government would hire 2,000 additional contact tracers.

Castex also announced that the period of self-isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 will be changed from 14 days to seven days.

Members of the scientific council said at a press conference recently that some people were not following the period of self-isolation.