France’s new coronavirus cases up 19,348 over 24 hours, fifth highest in the world

World

Church-goers wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus lineup outside the Notre-Dame-des-Champs church in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. French churches, mosques and synagogues can open their doors again to worshippers – but only a few of them, as France cautiously starts reopening after a second virus lockdown. Some churches may defy the 30-person limit they feel as too unreasonable, and other sites may stay closed until they can reopen for real. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

ARIS (Reuters) — The French health ministry reported 19,348 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Friday, slightly less than Thursday’s 19,927 and well below Wednesday’s more than one-month high of 26,457 but still far from the government’s target of less than 5,000 daily additional infections.

France’s cumulative total of cases now stands at 2,639,773, the fifth highest in the world. The COVID-19 death toll was up by 133 at 64,765.

France will impose an earlier curfew in 15 northeastern and southeastern departments from Saturday to combat the spread of the coronavirus, starting at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. local time, the government said on Friday.

President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that everyone in France should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they want it, amidst broad criticism over the slowness of the vaccination program.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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