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Coronavirus death toll spikes in France

France on Monday reported 403 new Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, the heaviest daily toll since November 24, raising the country’s coronavirus-related fatalities to 70,686, according to figures from the health authorities.

A further 3,736 people tested positive for the coronavirus in one day, significantly lower than Sunday’s figure of 16,642 new cases. But Monday’s numbers of new Covid-19 cases are often smaller since fewer people conducted tests during weekends, Xinhua news agency reported.

The cumulative total of infection now stands at 2,914,725 in France.

As of Monday, 25,619 Covid-19 patients were still treated in hospitals across the country, including 2,813 on ventilators. These two figures — key gauge to assess the health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic outbreak — rose by 350 and 37 respectively in one day.

Since France launched its vaccination campaign in late December, 479,873 people have received their first dose, with 57,746 inoculated on Monday.

“With the acceleration of the vaccination campaign in nursing homes, we will have largely reached one million vaccinated people by the end of the month,” said Health Minister Olivier Veran during a visit to a vaccination center in the southeastern city of Grenoble.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in France and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

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