France reports 50,659 new COVID-19 cases over 24 hours

People, wearing protective face masks, shop at a local market in Nantes amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - France reported 50,659 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, against 59,038 on Wednesday and 45,641 reported on Thursday a week ago, Health Ministry data showed.

A total of 5,109 people were in intensive care units in France with COVID-19, up by 56 from a day earlier.

France could hit the peak of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in seven to 10 days with the new restrictive measures announced on Wednesday by French President Emmanuel Macron, Health Minister Olivier Veran told France Inter radio.

Macron ordered France into its third national lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back the third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.

France also reported 308 new deaths in hospitals from COVID-19, bringing the total tally of deaths in hospitals to 69,904.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Nicolas Delame; Editing by Alexandra Hudson