France reports over 200K Covid-19 cases as presidential polls approach

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France has reported 203,021 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, as the country prepares for the presidential elections on Sunday.

According to the French public health agency, 23,010 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalised with 1,552 in intensive care. The agency also reported on Tuesday 140 additional Covid-19-related deaths in hospitals.

The application CovidTracker reported an increase in infections of 18.2 per cent in one week, with an average of 139,967 new daily cases reported between March 25 and 31, Xinhua news agency reported.

The application also reported an 8 per cent increase in the number of hospitalisations between March 25 and 31, with an increase of 3.6 per cent in intensive care admissions. Meanwhile, the number of daily deaths increased by 5.8 per cent.

According to the public health agency, 80.9 per cent of the French population has received at least one vaccine dose, and 79.5 per cent has been fully vaccinated.

France has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions. However, Morgane Bomsel, Research Director of the French National Center for Scientific Research, told French daily news BFMTV that “the pandemic is not over”.

In the run-up to the presidential elections, the French Interior Ministry last week laid out health protocol for polling stations.

The vaccine pass or a negative Covid-19 test result will not be required to enter. However, while the wearing of masks and social distancing will not be mandatory, masks are recommended for the elderly, vulnerable and those who have tested positive for Covid-19.

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