France is the sixth country to have more than 10 million people infected with the new coronavirus Reuters

© Reuters. On December 31, 2021, a woman arrives at a mobile coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing station in Paris, France. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Paris (Reuters)-According to official data released on Saturday, France has become the sixth country in the world to report more than 10 million COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic.

French health authorities have reported 219,126 new confirmed cases within 24 hours, which is the fourth consecutive day that the country has recorded more than 200,000 cases.

France joined the ranks of the United States, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Russia, with more than 10 million confirmed cases.

Saturday’s figure was the second highest after a record of 232,200 people set on Friday, when French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the next few weeks would be difficult.

In his New Year’s Eve speech, Macron did not mention the need to adopt stricter sanitation measures than those already announced, adding that the government should avoid further restrictions on personal freedom.

But the government said earlier on Saturday that starting Monday, children under the age of 6 must wear masks in public places instead of the previous 11 years.

Some big cities, including Paris and Lyon, have already redefined that everyone on the street must wear a mask.

The 7-day moving average of new cases in France eliminated daily reported violations and rose to an all-time high of 157,651 cases — a nearly five-fold increase in one month.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 96 in 24 hours, reaching a peak of 18,811 in more than seven months. But this number is still almost half of the 33,497 recorded in November 2020.

The number of COVID-19 deaths increased by 110 within 24 hours to 123,851, ranking 12th globally. The 7-day moving average of the number of new daily deaths has reached 186, the highest level since May 14.

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