France logs 13,406 new Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations dip

Updated December 12, 2020

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Paris, Dec 12 (IANS) France registered 13,406 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, which increased the total infection tally to 2,405,210, while hospitalisations across the country has continued a downward trend, according to health authorities.

Since the country, one of the hardest-hit in Europe, reported its first Covid-19 death in mid-February, a total of 57,671 people have died, Xinhua news agency quoted the authorities as saying on Friday.

Hospital admissions fell by 256 to 24,975, while the number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) dropped by 75 to 2,884, maintaining the downward trend first recorded on November 14.

Due to a night-time curfew and nationwide lockdown introduced in October, the number of new cases decreased to around 10,000 per day from nearly 50,000 in late October and

pressure on hospitals had eased.

The number of people infected with Covid-19 decreased by 6 per cent this week, compared to a 31 per cent fall a week earlier, indicating "a high risk of the virus resurgence in the coming weeks", the country's Public Health Agency said in a report on Friday.

"After four weeks of strong decline, the indicators stalled and remained at high levels," it said, urging "the greatest vigilance, especially during year-end celebrations".

Therefore, France would fall far short of its goal of a maximum of 5,000 new cases per day by December 15, when the lockdown was scheduled to end.

However, cinemas, theatres, performance halls, museums, circuses, zoos and casinos will continue to remain closed as "the conditions set for their reopening are unfortunately not met", Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday.

Starting from next week, a curfew would be enforced from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- an hour earlier than planned, and "will be strictly controlled", he added.

The night-time movement ban would be lifted for Christmas but would remain in place for New Year's Eve.

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