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France's COVID-19-related deaths and cases decreasing

(Xinhua)    09:18, November 19, 2020

PARIS, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- France on Wednesday reported 425 COVID-19-related deaths, compared to Tuesday's 437, pushing up the country's death toll caused by the coronavirus to 46,698, according to the country's health authorities.

Meanwhile, 28,383 new cases were recorded in France on Wednesday, down from Tuesday's 45,522, bringing the cumulative number of people who have caught the virus to 2,065,138 since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The number of hospital admissions dropped for the second day in a row as the French government was preparing for a gradual process to return to normalcy during year-end holidays.

A total of 328 COVID-19 patients left the hospital in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of hospitalized patients down to 32,842. The number of people in intensive care units, a key indicator to test the health system's ability to handle the sanitary crisis, fell by 79 to 4,775.

Since September coronavirus data had spiraled to levels much higher than in the first wave of the pandemic, dragging France into its second country-wide lockdown on Oct. 30.

The extra anti-coronavirus rules are effective until early December, although the government could impose more restrictions beyond the initial deadline if curbs fail to put a brake on the virus resurgence.

"If the first results and the first glimmers of hope are visible, they are the result of the French people's mobilization. Nothing would be worse than destroying the results that have been achieved," said Gabriel Attal, the government spokesperson.

"To relax our efforts now is to take the risk of having done them for nothing," he told the press after a weekly cabinet meeting.

President Emmanuel Macron will make a TV appearance in the middle of next week to unveil new rules he will order after the lockdown ends on Dec.1.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Nov. 12, there were 212 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 48 of them were in clinical trials.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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