France reports 343 COVID-19 deaths in one day

0 申博电子游戏Print E-mail Xinhua, March 23, 2021
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The number of COVID-19 deaths in France more than doubled to 343 on Monday from a day earlier, data from health authorities showed.

The national death toll now stands at 92,621, the third-highest in Europe after Britain and Italy.

The number of patients hospitalized for the disease increased by 562 to 26,488, while 4,548 out of the country's 5,100 resuscitation beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients, up by 142 in one day.

The number of new cases dropped to 15,792 on Monday from 30,581 the day before, but higher than 6,471 registered the same day in the previous week.

The daily tally usually dips on Mondays because of decreased activities at testing centers and delay in data collection during the weekend.

To date, the country has confirmed 4,298,395 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne, who tested positive for the virus on March 14, was "placed under medical surveillance in a hospital in the Paris region" early Monday, the ministry said, adding that the health situation of the 59-year-old minister was improving.

As of Sunday, 6,199,118 people in France had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry's data showed. The government aims to vaccinate 10 million citizens by mid-April, 20 million by mid-May and a total of 30 million, or two-thirds of the adults, by summer.

Alain Fischer, who orchestrates France's vaccination strategy, expected a return to normalcy by summer or autumn thanks to an acceleration of the vaccine rollout.

"For life to return to normal, it is necessary that the virus circulation decreases and that the most vulnerable people are protected. We should not be far from the target by the end of May," Fischer told BFM TV on Monday.

"And the youngest must also be vaccinated and that won't be done until summer or autumn," he added.

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