France reports 38,619 COVID-19 cases over past 24 hours

France registered 38,619 COVID-19 cases and 270 related deaths over the past 24 hours, data from the health authorities showed.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, a total of 1,787,324 COVID-19 infections have been confirmed, including 40,439 fatalities, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus rose by 822 to 30,243, getting closer to a peak of 32,113 during the lockdown in the spring. Further 118 patients were placed on ventilators in the last 24 hours, bringing the total in intensive care to 4,539.

On October 30, France went into a new lockdown to curb the brutal virus circulation, forcing non-essential shops, including cafes, restaurants and shops not selling basic foods or medicines, to shut down.

People were ordered to stay home. They have to sign documents if they have to go out to work, buy essential items or for health emergency.

“The measures have allowed to slow down the epidemic progress, but it is too early to judge its effect,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran told France Inter radio early on Sunday.

“We need a stabilization (of data) over a sufficiently long period of time. By the end of this week, or the beginning of next week …it will be possible to make a first assessment,” he said.

To bring life back to normal, countries including France, Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.