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France reports 24,116 new COVID-19 cases, 328 deaths

France reports 24,116 new COVID-19 cases, 328 deaths

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Paris [France], February 20 (ANI/Xinhua): With 24,116 new infections confirmed in the last 24 hours, France has counted an accumulative total of 3,560,764 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, according to data from the French Public Health Agency.
The country's coronavirus-linked toll now stands at 83,964, after registering 328 deaths in the past 24 hours. A total of 9,435 COVID-19 patients remain in the hospital, including 1,764 in intensive care in the last seven days.
The number of daily new infections was at a high plateau but started to decrease thanks to a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. introduced since mid-January, government spokesman Gabriel Attal told France 2 television early Friday.
Attal, however, warned that the sanitary situation "is still fragile as the virus can resurge at any time."
In a video conference with lawmakers from the ruling The Republic on the Move (LERM) party,
President Emmanuel Macron said "it's still too early to decide" whether to ease or tighten restrictions.
"We can consider hypotheses within 8 to 10 days," he was quoted by BFMTV news television as saying.
Early this month, France closed its borders to non-European visitors, ordered closure of large shopping malls to reduce human contacts while intensifying police patrols to enforce the curfew.
Catering and event businesses remain closed and public gatherings are still banned.
On Friday, the Ministry of Health reported that the number of people vaccinated against the disease rose to 3,668,354, including more than one million with second jabs.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in many European countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 251 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 70 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Friday. (ANI/Xinhua)

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