France became the sixth country in the world to report more than 10 million COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to official data published on Saturday.
French health authorities reported 219,126 new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period, the fourth day in a row that the country has registered more than 200,000 cases.
France joined the United States, India, Brazil, Britain and Russia and had more than 10 million cases.
Saturday’s figure was the second highest after Friday’s record 232,200 when French President Emmanuel Macron warned the coming weeks would be difficult.
In his New Year’s Eve speech, Macron made no mention of the need for stricter health measures than those already announced, adding that the government must refrain from further restricting individual freedoms.
But the government said earlier on Saturday that from Monday onwards, wearing masks in public areas would be mandatory for children as young as six, up from 11 years earlier.
And some major cities, including Paris and Lyon, have re-imposed the wearing of masks on the streets for everyone.
France’s seven-day moving average of new cases, which smoothes out daily reporting irregularities, rose to a record high of 157,651 – nearly a fivefold increase in a month.
The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased by 96 in 24 hours, peaking over seven months from 18,811. But that figure is still nearly half the record of 33,497 reached in November 2020.
The death toll from COVID-19 has risen by 110 in 24 hours to 123,851, the 12th highest worldwide. The seven-day moving average of new daily deaths has reached 186, a record since May 14.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)