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French new COVID-19 infections up again, but intensive care cases below target – Metro US

French new COVID-19 infections up again, but intensive care cases below target

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centre near Nantes
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centre near Nantes

PARIS (Reuters) -France reported 13,406 new coronavirus infections on Friday, fewer than Thursday’s 13,750 but well above the 11,221 reported last Friday, while intensive care cases dropped again and are now well below a government target.

After falling for weeks following the November lockdown, early December’s partial easing has led to an increase in infection rates and the daily count has not dropped to the 5,000 set by the government as a precondition for further loosening.

But the number of people in intensive care – the most important measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the disease – dropped again by 75 to 2,884 and is now well within the government target level of 2,500 to 3,000, health ministry data showed.

The total case count since the start of the pandemic rose to 2.35 million, while the number of deaths rose by 627 to 57,567. Friday’s reported toll included 304 hospital deaths, compared to 292 on Thursday, and a three-day batch of 323 retirement home deaths.

On Thursday, the French government postponed a further planned easing of lockdown measures by three weeks and said that an 8 p.m. curfew from Dec. 15 would remain in place for New Year’s eve but will be waived for Christmas.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Catherine Evans, Kirsten Donovan)

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