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France reports COVID-19 patients in intensive care at new 2021 high

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Clinique de l'Estree - ELSAN private hospital in Stains, near Paris, France, March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 in French hospitals has risen by 66 to 4,353, a new 2021 high, the health ministry reported on Saturday.

The number of new positive cases remained on a steadily increasing trend, up by 35,327 to 4.25 million, following an increase of 35,088 on Wednesday.

The virus’ cumulative death toll rose by 185 to 92,167 compared with a rise of 285 on Thursday.

In a separate statement, the ministry said that by Saturday 6.14 million people had received a first COVID-19 vaccine shot, accounting for 9.2% of total population and 11.7% of the adult population.

Nearly a third of French people entered a month-long lockdown on Saturday as the government aims to contain the spread of the virus in the Paris region and parts of northern France.

Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Jean-Michel Belot; Editing by Mark Potter and Richard Chang

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