Coronavirus latest: US airports report highest passenger numbers since the start of the pandemic

French health minister Olivier Veran said the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 infections is set to keep rising for at least two to three more weeks, and he did not rule out the possibility that intensive care numbers could approach the peak of 7,000 reached in the first wave a year ago.  In an interview on Monday with TF1 television, Veran said he hoped infections would peak this week. There were signs that the latest wave of the pandemic had already peaked in eastern France, but it was still rising fast in the west, which has so far been the least affected region of the country, he said.

“There are always two to three weeks between the peak of infections and the peak of severe cases of illness,” he said. “In the next three weeks, whatever happens, the number of patients in intensive care will automatically continue to rise.”  France’s vaccination programme, like those of other EU countries, has until now been constrained by supply shortages, but is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks as manufacturers increase deliveries.  According to the latest health data released on Sunday, 29,356 people are in French hospitals with Covid-19 — of whom 5,341 are in intensive care.

In the previous 24 hours 66,794 people tested positive for the virus.

Nearly 97,000 people have died since the start of the pandemic.