France reports new record of Covid infections with omicron spread

French President Emmanuel Macron takes off his mask during a news conference.

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France’s Covid-19 infection rate hit a new record on Tuesday as a new highly contagious variant of the omicron swept across the continent.

The 368,149 people in the past 24 hours surpassed the previous record of 332,252 set on January 5.

According to Our Data World, its seven-day moving average of cases on Monday was close to 270,000, well above the totals of neighbouring countries such as the UK

France is about to implement a strict Covid-19 passport system, with citizens needing to be vaccinated before entering restaurants or indoor activities, rather than being vaccinated or taking a negative test.

Last week, President Emmanuel Macron sparked controversy when he said he would make life difficult for citizens who refuse a Covid-19 vaccine.

“I’m not trying to disturb the French. I rant all day when the government stops them. Well, people who are not vaccinated, I really want to disturb them. So, we’re going to keep doing this until the end,” French leader said in an interview Parisian.

His comments coincided with parliamentary discussions on the Covid pass. Macron used French word ’emmerder’ in interview Parisian, which can be roughly translated as “trouble” or “annoying,” or something close to the phrase “angry.”

More than 50% of the European population will be infected with omicron Coronavirus disease Changes over the next two months, according to projections shared by senior WHO officials.

Citing data from the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Dr Hans Kruger, WHO’s regional director for Europe, said a new “west-to-east wave” was sweeping across the region, with On top of the popular previous delta variants.

“it [omicron] is fast becoming a major virus in Western Europe and is now spreading to the Balkans,” Kruger said, adding that the region had more than 7 million infections in the first week of 2022, doubling in two weeks many.

– Silvia Amaro of CNBC contributed to this article.