France reports 5,970 people in intensive care units with COVID-19

PARIS, April 19 (Reuters) - The French health ministry said on Monday that 5,970 people were in intensive care units with COVID-19, up from 5,893 a day earlier, a sign that the hospital system remains under pressure.

France also reported 449 new COVID-19 deaths in hospitals, up from 140 on Sunday, taking the cumulative toll to 101,183 since the start of the pandemic.

The country is hoping a ramp-up of its vaccination campaign, combined with the one-month lockdown in place since end-March, will help it regain control over the latest outbreak, fuelled by variants of the novel coronavirus.

France reported 6,696 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, against 29,344 on Sunday, taking the total to 5.29 million.

This was the lowest number of new cases reported since Monday, March 15. There are usually fewer new cases reported on Mondays because less testing is carried out over the weekend.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Jan Harvey

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