France reports nearly 27,000 new COVID-19 infections, 257 deaths


By UnreguserLiu Fang

PARIS, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France increased by 26,771 on Monday as the government was considering tightening restrictions to slow the accelerating spread of COVID-19.

Monday's count took France's total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 1,165,278. The daily tally was lower than the record 52,010 registered a day before as fewer people test on Sundays.

A further 257 people died from the coronavirus on Monday compared with 116 a day before. The cumulative number of human loss caused by the disease now stands at 35,018.

The number of hospitalized patients jumped by 1,307 to over 17,500 in one day, while 2,770 of the country's 5,100 resuscitation beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients, a single day increase of 186.

Coronavirus figures have spiraled to levels much higher than in the first wave of the pandemic, dragging the country into "a difficult, even critical situation," said Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, on Monday.

"There are probably more than 50,000 cases per day, it is estimated by the scientific council that we are rather around 100,000 cases per day," he told RTL radio.

"We have a virus that circulates extremely fast," he said, adding "We have anticipated a second wave. However, we are surprised by the brutality of what has been happening over the past ten days."

Amid mounting speculation over a new lockdown, President Emmanuel Macron will preside over two Defense Council meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide on new measures to stem the rapid spread of the virus.

As the world is caught in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the Untied States are racing to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.

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