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    Coronavirus ‘regaining ground’ in France, PM says

    Credit: Belga

    Coronavirus is circulating actively again in France in 1 in 5 so-called departments, based on new statements by the country’s Prime Minister Jean Castex.

    Departments (départements) are the numbered second-tier administrative subdivisions of France and are widely used there to designate locations.

    France has been assigning either a green or red colour to each of its 101 departments, with red meaning the virus is in active circulation. Castex on Thursday announced that 19 departments would be added to Paris and Bouches-du-Rhône, which were already listed as red.

    There is an “undeniable resurgence of the pandemic,” Castex said, adding that it was “regaining ground” and “progressing throughout the territory” with an incidence of 39 positive cases per 100,000, or “four times more than a month ago.”

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    As the virus’ reproduction rate has risen from 0.7 in May to 1.4 and hospitalisations are “slowly but surely” on the rise again, “our objective is to do everything possible to avoid a reconfinement, especially generalised” as it was in the spring, Castex said.

    Around 700 reports are written up throughout the country on a daily basis for non-compliance with the obligation to wear a mask, he said.

    France’s green and red zones are not to be mistaken for Belgium’s green, orange and red travel zones. On Wednesday, Belgium added a number of French departments to the list of places where travel is not possible or not authorised.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times