PARIS (Reuters) – French health officials reported 14,064 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours on Wednesday, up from 8,083 on Tuesday, as hospitalizations for the disease continued to trend down.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,244,635, the fifth highest total in the world.
The government eased its second national coronavirus lockdown, put in place on October 30, by allowing all stores to reopen this weekend.
President Emmanuel Macron said last week that the lockdown could be lifted on December 15 if by then the number of new infections per day drops to 5,000 and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care drops to between 2,500 and 3,000 .
Macron said on Tuesday that France should be able to embark on a wider COVID-19 vaccination campaign between April and June next year, after initially targeting a smaller group of people.
The number of people hospitalized for the disease fell from 626 in 24 hours to 27,013 and the number of ICU patients fell from 117 to 3,488.
The number of people who died in France from COVID-19 infections rose from 310 to 53,816, up from an increase of 775 on Tuesday.