COVID-19 infections rise again in France as gov't mulls easing rules from mid-April
PARIS. KAZINFORM A total of 3,810,316 people in France have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after 26,788 positive cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily increase since Feb. 24, official figures showed on Wednesday.
The number of people who lost their lives to the coronavirus increased by 322 to reach 87,542, the seventh highest in the world, Xinhua reports.
The number of hospitalized patients fell by 152 within a day to 25,111, while the number of serious cases rose again by 51 to 3,637, taking up 70 percent of the country's 5,100 resuscitation beds.
These data marked «not an exponential rise but a continuous and worrying increase,» government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said early Wednesday after a weekly cabinet meeting.
«Vaccinating the most vulnerable is protecting hospitals, is to give us a chance to be able to ease as quickly as possible the restrictions which weigh on our daily life,» Attal told reporters.
Senior citizens wait before receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination center on the first day of its opening, in Clichy, France, Jan. 18, 2021. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
«It is neither a distant nor uncertain horizon. It is a horizon that is getting closer and closer. We hope maybe from mid-April (we will ease restrictions), and we are preparing for it,» he said.
Attal added that President Emmanuel Macron has asked his ministers to propose plans allowing «a cautious re-opening of the country soon.»
Prime Minister Jean Castex will hold a news conference on Thursday to present an update on the country's epidemic indicators and possible remedies to the virus resurgence.
Unlike some of its neighbors, France has decided against a new lockdown, betting on nightly curfew and vaccination campaign to bring the epidemic under control.
A night-time ban on people's movement, in force since mid-December, was brought forward by two hours in the French territory on Jan. 16 to reduce social mixing.