PARIS (Reuters) – France has reported a further rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, as well as another rise in deaths, according to data released by the country’s health ministry on Wednesday.
There were 16,282 additional new confirmed cases, up sharply from the 9,155 new cases recorded on Tuesday and 4,452 on Monday, and bringing the total number of confirmed cases in France to 2,170,097.
The death toll rose to 50,618, more than 380 from the previous day. There were a total of 29,972 patients in hospital with COVID-19 and 4,148 in intensive care units.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who this week announced a gradual easing of a nationwide lockdown put in place to stop the spread of the virus, wants the daily rate of new cases to drop to around 5,000 a day.
On Tuesday, Macron said France would start easing the lockdown this weekend so that by Christmas, shops, theaters and cinemas reopen and people can spend the holidays with their families.
However, French restaurants, cafes and bars are expected to remain closed until January 20 to avoid triggering a third wave.
France has the seventh worst death toll from COVID-19 in the world.