France has become the first country in Europe to top two million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and the French national health agency.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, the country’s health agency director Jerome Salomon confirmed that the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in France now stands at at least 2,036,755.
“Whether in cities or in rural areas, all regions, all metropolitan departments, are affected,” Salomon said.
“This second wave, which we are all facing, is massive, deadly and is straining all of our caregivers and our health system as a whole,” he added.
While France has now registered the highest cumulative number of coronavirus cases in Europe overall, Salomon noted that the current coronavirus reproduction rate in France is now below one, while the daily number of new cases has declined in the last week.
“In recent days, the number of new cases has declined, redoubling efforts to regain control of the epidemic,” Salomon said, adding that public adherence to national coronavirus restrictions is now “beginning to bear fruit” in France.
“All collective efforts, respect for curfews and national confinement measures serve to explain this positive trend. It is by maintaining a very high level of vigilance and mobilization that we will be able to spend the end-of-year celebrations and the winter months in the safest conditions,” he added.
According to the latest data from the national health agency, a total of 33,139 coronavirus patients are currently in hospital – down by 327 since Monday – with 4,838 of those in intensive care.
A further 1,219 coronavirus patients have died since Monday, the national health agency added, bringing the total death toll in France to 46,273.