France’s daily Covid-19 case peaks at 270,000 as Omicron sweeps Europe

French health officials said on Tuesday that they had registered 271,686 new Covid-19 infections, the highest ever recorded, confirming France’s position as Europe’s hardest-hit country as the Omicron wave sweeps across the continent.

The more contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus pushed the number of confirmed cases in France to more than 160,000 a day last week and more than 200,000 for four days in a row over the weekend.

France on Saturday became the sixth country in the world to report more than 10 million Covid-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to official data.

– The tidal wave has really arrived, it is huge, but we will not give in to panic, says Minister of Health Olivier Véran to the parliament.

In a new attempt to combat the Covid transmission, French MPs on Monday began discussing draft legislation that would require most people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before entering public spaces. The bill would make it mandatory for people to show proof of being vaccinated – and not just a negative Covid test or proof of having recovered from coronavirus – to access public places and transport.

The bill, called the “vaccine passport”, aims to convince France’s remaining 5 million unvaccinated people over the age of 12 to be inoculated.

In response to critics who say the bill violates people’s civil liberties, Véran said that “egoism often hides behind talk of supposed freedom”.

( Jowharwith REUTERS & AFP)

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