Paris [France], March 19 (ANI/Xinhua): France registered 34,998 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, the second biggest daily tally since mid-November 2020 after Wednesday's 38,501, bringing the country's cumulative number of positive cases to 4,181,607, according to data from the country's health authorities.
Meanwhile, coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalization continued an upward trend in France. A further 268 patients have died within a day, bringing the death toll to 91,679. Admissions to hospital rose by 75 to 25,389, while those in intensive care units totalled 4,246, up by 27 from Wednesday.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday that "new massive measures to curb the epidemic will take place from this Friday midnight, and for four weeks" in 16 French regions most severely hit by the third wave of COVID-19.
Non-essential businesses will close and movement outside will be restricted in the affected regions, but schools will stay open and outdoor exercise will be allowed up to 10 kilometres from home, Castex said.
French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that the epidemic situation is "deteriorating." "With the virus variants, the situation has changed. It's almost a new epidemic which has started," he said.
As of Thursday, 5,630,671 people in France have received at least one dose of the vaccine. (ANI)