Emmanuel Macron is under pressure after the French Health Ministry has recorded 10,561 new positive tests for coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The latest figure is more than 100 higher than the previous day when 9,406 cases were confirmed on Friday. The worrying figure also surpasses the previous daily record set just 48 hours ago – when 9,843 new cases were detected on Thursday.
In the past 24 hours coronavirus fatalities in hospitals and nursing homes have increased by 17 – taking the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 30,910.
The latest figures also show there was 2,432 new hospital admissions in the past seven days, including 417 patients requiring intensive care.
The French health ministry also reported 772 clusters were being investigated, an increase of 86 in the past 24 hours.
Following the previous record spike on Thursday, French President Mr Macron held an emergency meeting with medical and scientific advisers.
Mr Macron indicated there could be a new crackdown if the number of infections continued to rise
He told the meeting: “We need to be as transparent and clear as possible.
“We need to be demanding and realistic without giving in to any kind of panic.”
The head of the scientific council advising the Government on the pandemic, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, added “tough” decisions may be required.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex played down the threat of a second nationwide lockdown and said new measures would include fast-tracked testing and targeting local areas.
He said: “The virus is with us for several more months and we must manage to live with it without letting ourselves get drawn once again into a narrative of nationwide lockdown.”
Mr Castex said the rise in infections was particularly worrying in Marseille, Bordeaux, and the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe.
He also confirmed the period of quarantine for coronavirus in France has been reduced from 14 days to seven days to ensure it is easier to enforce.
Hundreds of yellow vest, ant-Government demonstrators, clashed the armed police in the French capital in the first protest of its kind since March.
In Paris, riot police fired tear gas and arrested more than 250 people during the disturbances.
Many were apprehended for carrying items like tools that could be used as weapons.
French Police had called on Saturday’s demonstrators to respect coronavirus measures in Paris, which is among France’s high-risk “red zones” and where it is compulsory to wear a face mask in the street.