December 1, 2020

Coronavirus live news: WHO warns Covid ‘not tired of us’ as top UK scientist says vaccine ‘feels like watershed moment’

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Russian vaccines effective, claims Putin

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Highest number of deaths during second wave in France

France reported 551 new Covid-19 deaths on Monday evening, the highest number of the second wave, according to French public health director Jérôme Salomon. And the head of Santé Publique France warned that the worst of the spike was to come.

Salomon said France had the 4th highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world – an extra 20,155 were reported on Monday – but attributed this to what he called “particularly high” testing in the country. France is now carrying out around 2.3m tests a week.

A patient suspected of contracting coronavirus at the emergency service of the Robert Boulin hospital in Libourne, southwestern France.

A patient suspected of contracting coronavirus at the emergency service of the Robert Boulin hospital in Libourne, south-western France. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Officials reported that 4,690 intensive care beds were now being occupied by Covid-19 patients. Before the first wave in March-April this year, France had around 5,000 intensive care beds; this figure has now been increased with an eventual target of around 7,500.

With news of a possible vaccine on the horizon, an Ipsos poll found that only 59% of French people questioned said they would get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Twenty per cent said they were vehemently opposed to having the vaccine.

A number of schools were closed across France on Tuesday after several teaching unions called for members to hold a “health strike” in protest at what they see as insufficient Covid-19 precautions in some schools and lycées. It was not immediately clear how many teachers had responded to the strike call.

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Weekly death toll in England and Wales jumps 41%

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Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat dies after contracting Covid-19

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UK’s health service asked to be ready to deploy vaccine in December

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