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France sees mid-week dip in COVID-19 numbers

France continued to see declining coronavirus numbers Wednesday with a dip in both hospitalizations and fatalities, according to the Health Ministry.

Hospitalizations totaled 15,960 with 2,558 of those patients in intensive care, a number that has been trending downward in recent days.

The country reported 28,383 new confirmed cases, down 17,139 from 45,522 Tuesday. The total number of infections since record-keeping began now stand at 2,065,138.

France passed the 2 million mark for cases on Tuesday.

Fatalities were also down slightly, with 427 deaths recorded, a drop by 10 over the day before. The official death toll stands at 46,698.

France is in its third week of its second lockdown, which is scheduled to end on Dec. 1, although government officials are considering keeping cafes, bars and restaurants closed until Jan. 15.

On Sunday, Health Minister Olivier Veran started the week by saying in a press conference that he felt France was past the peak of infection due to the continued descent in the rate of new cases.

Some 100 departments throughout the country remain in a vulnerable position with 4,039 clusters of infection considered serious nationwide, both numbers of which are on the rise.

Worldwide, the death toll from COVID-19 stands at over 1.3 million in 191 countries since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in late December last year. The number of infections stands at just over 56 million, according to the latest figures from US-based Johns Hopkins University.​​​​​​​

President Emmanuel Macron is set to address the nation next week, with possible announcements including the gradual re-opening of shops on Friday, Nov. 27, otherwise known as "Black Friday," which is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year ahead of the year-end holidays, and the re-institution of a curfew once confinement is lifted.


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