France's daily COVID-19 cases hit two-month high

PARIS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France hit a two-month high at 26,784, health authorities said on Wednesday.

A higher daily tally, at 28,393, was registered on Nov. 18, 2020, according to official data.

Meanwhile, the country's coronavirus death toll increased by 310 within a day.

Currently, a total of 25,686 people are hospitalized, 2,852 of them in intensive care. The two tallies rose by 119 and 13 respectively in the last 24 hours.

To date, France has recorded 2,965,117 people having caught COVID-19, of whom 71,652 have died.

Since Saturday, a nationwide curfew starting at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. has been put into effect to contain the viral circulation amid the spread of highly infectious virus variants.

"The curfew is an effective protection to limit the circulation of the COVID-19," government spokesman Gabriel Attal said early Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.

"Let's give this curfew a chance," he said, noting that an earlier curfew imposed in the worst-hit departments since early January had a "positive impact on the virus circulation."

"Obviously, if the situation deteriorates in a significant way, other national measures will be decided," Attal added.

The earlier nationwide curfew was among a series of stricter COVID-19 rules announced by French Prime Minister Jean Castex last week.

According to the rules, non-European travelers arriving in France would have to present a negative COVID-19 test less than 72 hours before boarding their flights. They would have to self-quarantine for seven days and then take a second test.

Another 107,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in France, bringing the total to 692,777 since the start of the campaign, reported BFM TV.

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

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 64 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 15.

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