France reports 20,468 new COVID-19 cases, 262 deaths

A total of 20,468 new COVID-19 cases were registered in the past 24 hours in France, while the epidemic-related fatalities rose sharply by 262, health authorities said on Tuesday.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, 930,745 people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19, the eighth-highest in the world. Some 1,829 clusters were still under investigation, of which 148 were detected from Monday to Tuesday.

In one day, the respiratory illness had claimed 262 lives, a level unseen since May 17. The country’s cumulative number of deaths now stands at 33,885.

Admissions to hospital surged by 797 to 12,458 and those in intensive care units increased by 78 to 2,177, with both tallies continuing weeks-long upward trend.

Since Oct. 17, a curfew has been imposed on nearly 20 million people at night in nine major urban areas where restrictions have already been in place, including closure of bars, pools and gyms. Entertainment facilities including circus, dance clubs, trade shows are banned, while all outdoor facilities, such as stadiums, remain open for fewer than 1,000 people.

As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine. According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.