France reports 4,246 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, new 2021 high

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination center at the Confluent Hospital in Nantes, as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign in France, March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) – The number of people in intensive care units in French hospitals with COVID-19 rose by 27 to 4,246, the highest so far this year, the health ministry reported on Thursday.

The number of new positive cases also remained on a steadily increasing trend, up by 34,998 to 4.18 million in the second-biggest increase in absolute numbers this year, following an increase of 38,501 on Wednesday.

Compared with last Thursday, the case count was up by 4.8%, the 10th consecutive increase week-on-week, but remained well below week-on-week increases in the range of 20 to 30% ahead of a second lockdown in November.

The virus’s cumulative death toll rose by another 268 to 91,679, ministry data showed.

The government will detail further confinement measures at a news conference at 1800 GMT.

(Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Alex Richardson)

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