France appears to have 'passed the peak' of second surge, health minister says

France has passed the worst of its second wave of coronavirus infections, its top health minister declared Sunday.

In an interview published in France 24, Minister of Health Olivier Véran said that the number of new infections had decreased in the country for 10 consecutive days, and added that test positivity rates were dropping as well.

“Thanks to the lockdown, just like back in March, the virus has started to circulate less,” said Véran. “For 10 consecutive days now, the number of new COVID-19 cases, positive test rates and incident rates are decreasing. Everything leads us to believe that we have passed the peak of the epidemic.”


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Despite the success, he added that it is “too early to claim victory and relax our efforts,” and said that France’s anti-coronavirus measures will continue.

His remarks come as France’s rate of new COVID-19 cases has dropped significantly in recent days. The county reported just over 27,000 new cases on Sunday, down from a high of more than 86,000 in one day earlier in November.

Numerous countries including the U.S. have seen a second surge of cases with the fall weather and have moved to implement tougher restrictions as a result. Michigan moved over the weekend to suspend in-person learning for schools and indoor dining at restaurants, while Washington state is shutting down indoor dining as well as gyms, museums and theaters.

The U.S. continues to have the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections of any country, and on Sunday passed 11 million total cases after health officials registered more than 1,000,000 new cases over the past week.