Paris [France], March 3 (ANI/Xinhua): French health authorities on Tuesday reported 22,857 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, sharply up from Monday's 4,703 and higher than the 20,064 daily cases registered a week ago.
The cumulative number of patients who have caught the respiratory illness rose to 3,783,528, the sixth-highest tally in the world. Coronavirus-linked fatalities were at 87,220 after 417 died within one day, including 117 in retirement homes.
A total of 25,263 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized, down by 167 from Monday's figure, while 3,586 needed life support, up by 42.
Faced with the spread of more contagious variants of COVID-19, the pressure in hospitals remained "very strong" and four to six tough weeks are still ahead, said Gabriel Attal, the government spokesman.
Attal, meanwhile, expected an improvement in the epidemic situation thanks to the vaccination campaign, which according to him "will gradually help protect the most vulnerable people, ease the pressure on hospitals and allow to relax a certain number of restrictions."
"We see light at the end of the tunnel...But in the meantime the important thing is to continue to hold out," he said.
As of March 1, France had administered 3,036,605 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, data from the Public Health Agency showed. (ANI/Xinhua)