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France reports 242 COVID-19-related deaths in hospitals

Authorities said 192 people infected with the coronavirus were admitted into intensive care.

In total, 27,242 COVID-19 patients are receiving treatment in hospital.

President Emmanuel Macron defended his decision to hold off on a third lockdown on Saturday, telling the public he had faith in their ability to rein in COVID-19 with less severe curbs even as a third wave spreads and the vaccine rollout falters.

From Sunday (local time), France will close it borders to all but essential travel to and from countries outside the European Union, while people arriving from within the bloc will have to show a negative test. Large shopping malls will be shut and police patrols increased to enforce a 6:00pm curfew.

But Mr Macron has stopped short of ordering a new daytime lockdown, saying he wants to see first if other measures will be enough to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With 10 per cent of cases now attributable to the more contagious variant first found in Britain, senior medics have recommended a new lockdown, and one opinion poll showed more than three-quarters of French people think one is now inevitable.

The poll also showed falling public confidence in the government’s handling of the crisis.

Reuters



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