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COVID-19 hospitalisations continue to rise in France

Daniel, 80, receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Champmaillot EHPAD (care homes and day centres for elderly people) as France begins vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dijon, France December 27, 2020. Philippe Desmazes/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - Hospitalisations for COVID-19 continued to rise on Monday in France as President Emmanuel Macron and some senior cabinet ministers are to review the health situation on Tuesday amid another surge in cases that has spurred fears of a third lockdown in the country.

The French Health Ministry reported that the number of people admitted to hospital for COVID-19 rose by 25 on Monday to 24,678 while patients in intensive care - the most important measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the pandemic - went up by 44 to 2,703.

There were 2,960 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Monday, down from 8,822 on Sunday and from Saturday’s 3,093.

Case numbers generally dip on Mondays as there are fewer tests conducted on Sundays.

The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 infections rose by 363 to 63,109, up from 175 on Sunday. The cumulative number of cases in France now totals 2,562,646, the fifth highest in the world.

The European Union rolled out a massive COVID-19 vaccination drive on Sunday to try to rein in a pandemic that has crippled economies worldwide and claimed more than 1.7 million lives.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Steve Orlofsky