France's COVID-19 cases reach national record while deaths also rise

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  • Cases are highest since pandemic first hit France in 2020
  • French COVID-19 hospitals deaths up by 179 in last 24 hours
  • 91,608 new COVID-19 cases registered in last 24 hours

PARIS, Dec 23 (Reuters) - France had its worst-ever day in terms of new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with more than 91,000 new cases being recorded while the number of deaths also climbed, as the country battles against a fifth wave of the virus.

"Today's figures are not good," said Health Minister Olivier Veran.

Veran had earlier told reporters that the case number would stand at around 88,000 for Thursday, but the final official tally from the health ministry showed 91,608 new cases.

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Veran had already warned earlier this week that France would soon be at 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. read more

Data from the health ministry also showed that France registered a further 179 COVID-19 deaths in hospitals over the last 24 hours, while the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units reached 3,208, up by 61 from the previous day.

President Emmanuel Macron is hoping France's COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign will help to contain the fifth wave of the coronavirus to hit the country.

He is aiming to avoid imposing tough, new restrictions, although the French government has said all options will be considered to tackle any rapid deterioration in France's COVID-19 situation.

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Juliette Jabkhiro, editing by Mark Heinrich, Barbara Lewis and Aurora Ellis

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