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Number of COVID-19 patients in French intensive care edges up

·1-min read
The COVID-19 battle in northern French hospital

PARIS (Reuters) -The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in France edged up on Sunday, the health ministry said, amid a nationwide lockdown to try to stem a third wave of infections.

Health ministry data showed that 5,893 people were in intensive care units with COVID-19, 16 more than on Saturday. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital rose by 460 to 30,789, ending a streak of five consecutive daily falls.

A government spokesman has said there are signs that the pressure on the medical system is easing slightly, but that the situation in hospitals remains serious.

France is hoping an acceleration of its vaccination campaign, combined with the month-long nationwide lockdown in place since last weekend, will help it regain control over the outbreak.

The health ministry registered 140 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals in the space of 24 hours. France's cumulative COVID-19 death toll breached the 100,000 mark on Thursday, the eighth-highest in the world.

There were 29,344 new confirmed coronavirus cases, health ministry data showed. About 12.5 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Alexandra Hudson)