France reports 17,881 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in 24 hours


A medical staff member works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at the Melun-Senart hospital, near Paris, France, November 20, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of new coronavirus infections in France rose by 17,881 on Saturday, lower than the 22,882 reported on Friday..

The health ministry also reported 276 new deaths from the virus in hospitals over 24 hours, against 386 on Friday.

Total deaths in France from the virus now stand at 48,518, of which 33,231 in hospitals.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 dropped for the fifth day in a row and was down at 31,365.

The number of patients in intensive care units also dropped for the fifth consecutive day and was down at 4,493.

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron will give a speech to the nation about the virus situation and may announce a partial relaxation of nationwide lockdown rules which have been in place since Oct. 30.

The retail industry hopes to be able to reopen shops selling "non-essential" goods such as clothes, shoes and toys.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday he hoped this could happen "within a few days".

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Louise Heavens)

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