France has added several new departments to its list of COVID-19 “red zones” as the country experiences resurgence of cases of the virus.
A decree published on Sunday, which enters into force immediately, classifies seven areas as “zones where the virus is circulating actively”.
Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse on the island of Corsica, as well as Côte-d’Or, Nord, Bas-Rhin, and Seine-Maritime on the mainland, along with the Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean were all declared “red zones”.
There are now 28 departments, including four located overseas, included in the list.
Paris and Bouches-du-Rhône in Southern France were the first to be classified as “red zones” on August 14.
Prime Minister Jean Castex added 19 departments to the list on August 27.
For a department to be declared a “red zone”, its incidence rate of COVID-19 must exceed 50 new cases of the virus per 100,000 inhabitants in one week.
This indicator figure is taken from the results of Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which detect the presence of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
When an area is added to France’s “red zone” list, the department’s prefecture is granted “enhanced powers” to enact measures to fight COVID-19 based on “local epidemiological data”.
France on Saturday surpassed 8,000 new coronavirus infections for a second consecutive day, with health authorities reporting 8,550 new cases 24 hours.
Friday saw an all-time high in the number of daily reported cases in France, with a total of 8,975.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases now totals 317,706, the health ministry said.
With twelve more people dying from the disease on Friday in the country, France’s total went up to 30,698.