France’s COVID-19 daily infections top 60,000, an all-time high

France confirmed a new record of 60,486 COVID-19 cases within 24 hours, beating Thursday’s tally of 58,046 cases, official data showed.

The cumulative number of people who caught the coronavirus stood at 1,661,853, the world’s fifth highest tally, according to figures posted on the government’s coronavirus information website on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Since the outbreak, France reported 39,865 deaths because of the coronavirus after 828 new patients died in one day.

On Friday, the country’s hospitals received 553 patients with COVID-19, bringing the number of hospitalizations to 28,979. That included 4,331 people who required life support, a single day rise of 101.

France went into a new lockdown to curb the “brutal” virus circulation a week ago, forcing closure of non-essential shops, including cafes, restaurants and shops not selling basic foods or medicines.

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

Earlier on Friday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said it was premature to evaluate the effects of the second nationwide-lockdown as epidemic indicators show deteriorating sanitary situation.

“It is too early to say whether the containment put in place is effective. It takes time between the moment when people reduce their contacts and the time when the virus circulates less rapidly,” Veran said.

“We will have the answer within a few days…If things do not get better, it may be necessary to take additional measures,” he added.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of November 3, there were 202 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 47 of them were in clinical trials.