French coronavirus death toll tops 60,000

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, poses before administering a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centre in Reze near Nantes, France, December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - France recorded 610 new coronavirus fatalities on Friday to become the seventh nation with a death toll surpassing 60,000.

There were 264 new deaths in hospitals over the past 24 hours - compared to 258 on Thursday - and a three-day batch of 346 deaths reported in retirement homes.

Fellow European nations Italy and the United Kingdom have had more than 67,000 and 66,000 deaths respectively.

The United States, with more than 307,000 deaths, is the worst-hit country, followed by Brazil with over 183,000 deaths, India with over 144,000 and Mexico with over 115,000.

France also reported 15,674 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 18,254 on Thursday but up on the 13,406 reported last Friday.

The cumulative total now stands at 2.44 million cases.

The health ministry had not published final hospital data for Friday by mid-evening, but its Geodes service released provisional data showing numbers in hospital with the virus fell to 24,945 from 25,149 and numbers in intensive care fell to 2,764 from 2,798.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrew Cawthorne)

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