France’s sixth country with more than 10 million infected with COVID, Reuters

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© Reuters. A woman arrives at the mobile coronavirus test stand (COVID-19) in Paris, France, December 31, 2021. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) – France became the sixth country in the world to report more than 10 million infected COVID-19s since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to official figures released on Saturday.

French health authorities reported 219,126 new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period, the fourth day in a row that the country had recorded more than 200,000 cases.

France has joined the United States, India, Brazil, Britain and Russia with more than 10 million cases.

Saturday’s figure was the second highest since a record 232,200 on Friday when French President Emmanuel Macron warned it would be difficult in the next few weeks.

In his New Year’s address, Macron did not mention the need for more restrictive health measures than those already announced, adding that the government should refrain from further restricting individual freedoms.

But the government said earlier Saturday that wearing masks in public places would be mandatory for six-year-olds from Monday, up from 11 years ago.

And some big cities, including Paris and Lyon, have re-imposed the wearing of street masks for everyone.

The seven-day moving average of new cases in France, which smooths out irregularities in daily reporting, has climbed to the highest level of 157,651 of all time – jumping almost five times a month.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 rose by 96 over 24 hours, peaking at more than seven months out of 18,811. But that figure is still almost half of the record of 33,497 achieved in November 2020.

The death toll from COVID-19 rose by 110 in 24 hours to 123,851, the 12th highest in the world. The seven-day moving average of new daily deaths reached 186, the highest since May 14.

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